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Airmen earn German proficiency badge; forge relationships

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 19th Air Support Operations Squadron begin a rucksack march during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 6, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 19th Air Support Operations Squadron begin a rucksack march during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 6, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kenneth Bartle, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist finishes a rucksack march during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 6, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kenneth Bartle, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist finishes a rucksack march during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 6, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Malinowski, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist loads ammo before attempting a German armed forces proficiency badge assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Malinowski, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist loads ammo before attempting a German armed forces proficiency badge assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Torrez, left, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist, counts the number of shots on target while 1st Lt. Megan Cox, 19th ASOS air liaison officer, and German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, German Air Ground Operations Squadron commander observe during the shooting portion of the a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Torrez, left, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist, counts the number of shots on target while 1st Lt. Megan Cox, 19th ASOS air liaison officer, and German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, German Air Ground Operations Squadron commander observe during the shooting portion of the a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, German Air Ground Operations Squadron commander watches as U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Terrence Crenshaw, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron vehicle maintenance technician attempts the shooting portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, German Air Ground Operations Squadron commander watches as U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Terrence Crenshaw, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron vehicle maintenance technician attempts the shooting portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, German Air Ground Operations Squadron commander demonstrates the different stances Airmen must shoot from to successfully complete the shooting portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, German Air Ground Operations Squadron commander demonstrates the different stances Airmen must shoot from to successfully complete the shooting portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

German Air Force 1st Lt. Marco Bruck, German Air Ground Operations Squadron Joint Terminal Attack Controller evaluator, left, observes while U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Malinowski, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist fires during the shooting portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

German Air Force 1st Lt. Marco Bruck, German Air Ground Operations Squadron Joint Terminal Attack Controller evaluator, left, observes while U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Malinowski, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist fires during the shooting portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, German Air Ground Operations Squadron commander left, congratulates U.S. Air Force Ryan Hawkins 19th Air Ground Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist, during the shooting portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, German Air Ground Operations Squadron commander left, congratulates U.S. Air Force Ryan Hawkins 19th Air Ground Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist, during the shooting portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 4, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Grey, 19th Air support Operations Squadron intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance liaison officer swims during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 5, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Grey, 19th Air support Operations Squadron intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance liaison officer swims during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 5, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 19th Air Support Operations Squadron swim during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 5, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.
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U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 19th Air Support Operations Squadron swim during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 5, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Aaron Gadd, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist swims during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 5, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.
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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Aaron Gadd, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party specialist swims during a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 5, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Terrence Crenshaw, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron vehicle maintenance technician sprints during the agility portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 5, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Terrence Crenshaw, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron vehicle maintenance technician sprints during the agility portion of a German armed forces proficiency assessment, April 5, 2017, at Fort Campbell, Ky. To enhance their ability to work together in deployed locations, members of the German Air Force travelled to Fort Campbell to train and exercise with the 19th ASOS. While at Fort Campbell, The German Air Force members hosted a German armed forces proficiency assessment for Airmen consisting of shooting firearms, swimming, agility exercises and a rucksack march.

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. --

Twenty-four Airmen from the 19th Air Support Operations Squadron will be sporting new accouterments on their uniforms after competing for the coveted German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, April 4-7 at Fort Campbell, Ky.

 

The badge is a military decoration worn by the Bundeswehr, the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany and it is an uncommon award to earn. The GAFP Badge is prestigious in that it is one of few foreign awards that is authorized for wear on U.S. military uniforms.

 

“It’s an honor to represent our international allies on my uniform,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Evan Conde, 19th ASOS tactical air control party specialist. “It’s good to have something like this because now I can relate to one of our NATO allies a little better. It gives us a common understanding because we’ve both gone through the same thing.”

 

The badge symbolizes the extensive annual test given to German soldiers that resembles the U.S. combat and fitness tests, and was administered by German liaison officers.

 

“I think it’s a pretty good thing for the U.S. guys to see how we do things in Europe,” said German Air Force Maj. Nader Samadi, Air Ground Operations Squadron commander. “We were invited to come and do the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge and go on a close air support exercise with them. It’s interoperability with our forces’ NATO partners and we really appreciate the opportunity to come here.”

 

In order to earn the badge, members of the 19th ASOS excelled in a weapons test, swimming test, agility test and finally a rucksack march.

 

“I’d say the ruck was the hardest part, because if you ran you were disqualified and typically most guys run when they’re rucking,” said Conde. “So that whole walking factor was just something that I’ve never done.”

 

While there were minor differences, Conde said the difficulty of the assessment was reasonable when one considers everything the small TACP community already asks of him.

 

“I think the swimming portion is the most fun,” said Samadi. “You get to swim about 100 meters in four minutes with your [uniform] on. Then take the stuff off in the water without drowning. So, I think that's tough.

 

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” added Samadi. “This definitely helps forge the relationship between German and US JTACs. It would be great if this is able to continue within the units.”