PDF Fighting Elites: A History of U.S. Special Forces

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Find out here. The future of the U. Air Force special operations stomps into the room on the doubleā€”in the form of a half-dozen men and women, fresh out of Basic Training, clad in identical off-white T-shirts and blue shorts. This facility is about sustained maximum effort. But before they can do that, they face a gantlet of unforgiving qualification courses with infamously high wash-out rates.

A Rand report from May found that the attrition rate during the initial Special Warfare assessment and selection course hovers at roughly 75 percent. It's just like an aircraft returning from a flight. Maintenance hook up computers to it and download how it performed. Over eight weeks, the th Special Warfare Training Squadron in Lackland will use big data, video analysis, wearable sensors, and extreme exercise to teach air-men how to optimize their bodies like machines.


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They prepared for the minimum standards instead of planning to go far beyond them. Kayden, a year-old firefighter from Oregon, is one of the trainees who came here to chase his dream of becoming a pararescueman, or PJ. When called, he steps out of line and trots into what looks like a Hollywood movie green-screen set. This is the Dari motion-capture system. The prep course here at Lackland became the first in the Air Force to use it in , but several other training units saw the results and have since bought their own. As Kayden strikes a scarecrow pose, eight high-resolution cameras measure the motion of his major joints, tracking their movement as he goes through a set of calisthenics.

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A screen mounted on the wall displays his image with an outline of his joints overlaid in bright pink. As he hops, twists, and squats, the overlay moves in real time, highlighting the biomechanics of every action. Kayden was a college baseball player and a firefighter, and seems to be in great shape. But the trainer notices during a lunge that he turns his left knee inward. Most trainees will be scanned by Dari twice: once at the start of training and once at the end to compare results. If the trainees hope to get through the course, dramatic improvement is required.

The first tasks are to input a seven-question survey on a government-issued tablet. Questions cover quality of sleep, overall physical condition, and mental state. Now is also the opportunity to request a visit from an instructor, psychologist, or chaplain. Next is the urine test to check hydration. After that, the trainee lies down and an electrode is attached to his forehead and finger for an omega brain-wave reading. All this happens before 5 a.

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U.S. Special Ops: A History of Excellence

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