The Sunday Supplement #2

Happy Sunday!

Welcome to the second installment of the Sunday Supplement.  Tomorrow is the "March Out" to Jacks Valley for Aggressors, Barbarians, Cobras, and Demons.  Here's a little background info.

The Air Force Academy occupies 18,500 acres.  For perspective, it is roughly the size and shape of Manhattan (the island in New York, not the city in Kansas).  The Academy site consists of five main valleys that run west-to-east, from the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains to the plains below.  The northernmost of the valleys is Jacks Valley.  The area is named after Cleo and Zelda Jack, who had owned a 480-acre ranch in the valley beginning in 1942.

Every summer, Jacks plays host to a key part of Basic Cadet Training, the field encampment portion that takes place during the second half of BCT, typically in middle to late July.  The use of Jacks Valley for BCT began on 25 July 1966, when members of the Class of ’70 marched to the training site.  Since that day, every USAFA class has ventured into the valley to  experience a wide range of activities, to include land navigation, weapons training, and a variety of courses (obstacle, assault, confidence, CBRNE, and leadership reaction).  This summer is no exception. 

We have posted a version of this blog entry for a number of years now.  It describes the "courses" and what your basics will be doing during their time in the Valley. After many summers of Jacks Valley coverage the WebGuy team has added their description and a rating of each course we will be covering this summer.  It is slightly different than the "Official" one. 

Assault Course

Mission: (Official Description) The Assault Course teaches hand-to-hand combat skills and rifle fighting techniques while allowing basic cadets to practice these elements in controlled scenarios and pugil-stick competitions. The second-half of the course requires basic cadets to demonstrate these skills by completing the pugil-stick competition and negotiating a course of 18 obstacles/stations and demonstrating hand-to-hand and rifle fighting techniques in a controlled, but mentally and physically challenging environment. The course is designed to assess basic cadets' mental and physical stamina and confidence.

WebGuy Translation: You get all wet and run around and hit stuff with your rifle. Then, for the pugil-stick competition, you get padded sticks and a helmet and you smack other basics.

WebGuy Rating (Fun Level Scale 1 - 10) The Assault Course is Negative 50. Pugil-Stick Competition is 8 if you are landing blows, but Negative 8 if you are taking them.


Confidence Course

Mission: The Confidence Course develops and assesses basic cadets' self-confidence and physical capabilities by guiding them, as individuals and teams, through a selected group of 15 obstacles which vary in height and difficulty. The course requires all basic cadets to demonstrate physical dexterity, teamwork, and cohesion to achieve successful outcomes.

WebGuy Translation: Climb around on high obstacles with classmates.

WebGuy Rating: (Fun Level Scale 1 - 10) Confidence Course is 8


Obstacle Course

Mission: The Obstacle Course will teach and require basic cadets to negotiate 17 physically-challenging obstacles. It is designed to assess their physical fitness, agility, confidence and increase awareness of personal capabilities.

WebGuy Translation: Climb, crawl, jump over and under obstacles.  Try to never, never fall in the water.  Think "Officer and a Gentleman" and war movies.

WebGuy Rating:  (Fun Level Scale 1 - 10) Obstacle Course is 4


Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Enhanced Conventional Weapons (CBRNE)

Mission: CBRNE will help prepare the Basics to face chemical warfare and know how to deal with various types of weaponry.

WebGuy Translation: You get tear-gassed. Booooooo.

WebGuy Rating: (Fun Level Scale 1 - 10) CBRNE is Negative 30.  (Note: this is still a higher rating than the Assault Course.)


The Basics will also do other activities such as Honor Lessons, Flight Drill, & Weapon Drill.  And Yes, they will get their mail.  To clarify, they don't do these other activities while being gassed.  ;-)


Other Courses

There are two other training courses located in Jacks Valley that the basics will all complete during BCT, but not during the week  they are living in Jacks Valley.  They will be bussed out to these courses from the Cadet Area when scheduled.

CATM (Combat Arms Training and Maintenance).

Mission: The course trains basic cadets on the nomenclature, assembly/disassembly, and safe operation of the M-4 carbine rifle.  Basic cadets fire the Air Force Qualification Course (AFQC). If basic cadets earn an expert rating for the M-4 AFQC, they will be authorized the wear of the USAF small arms expert ribbon.

WebGuy Translation: You get to shoot stuff.

WebGuy Rating (Fun Level Scale 1 - 10) CATM is 7.


Leadership Reaction Course (LRC)

Mission: The Leadership Reaction Course (LRC) safely provides basic cadets experiences in functional leadership, effective followership, group and individual problem-solving, and group dynamics by working through six exercise scenarios. Assigned cadre provide critiques after scenario completion to enhance the learning experience.

WebGuy Translation: Group Problem solving.  There will be no photo coverage. It's a secret. We don't want to give away anything.  Your cadet can tell you about it later.   

WebGuy Rating:  (Fun Level Scale 1 - 10) Leadership Reaction Course is 8

So there you have it.  There will be lots of good photo opportunity.  Please just keep in mind that there are minor changes to each course from year-to-year.  Our descriptions are based on previous years.  We will all find out what this year actually looks like together. :-) 

While you wait for the actual coverage to start tomorrow, here is a preview courtesy of USAFA Public Affairs. 



The WebGuy Team will be there to cover it all, so STAY TUNED!