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Master Sgt. Bradley Sheppard, 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron flight chief, conducts a basic military training-style exercise session for members of the Fort Walton Beach High School Vikings football team during Air Commando Youth Athletic Camp at Hurlburt Field, Fla., July 19, 2023. For the three-day football camp, the team trained alongside Airmen performing formation runs, military drills and military tent building as an opportunity to learn the 1st Special Operations Wing’s mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda Mahoney)

Fort Walton Beach, Florida. (August 31, 2023): Every football team thinks it is tough, but how would they fare working out with real life air commandos? The Fort Walton Beach High School Vikings football team found out this week just how difficult military training can be while learning more about Air Force special operations forces. In this photo by Staff Sergeant Miranda Mahoney, Air Force Master Sergeant Bradley Sheppard, assigned to the 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron at nearby Hurlburt Field, leads military physical fitness training at the three-day Air Commando Youth Athletic Camp. Vikings football players trained alongside Special Operations Airmen in Basic Training military drills, completed a circuit workout including pushups, tire flips, and a 5-mile run, and participated in tent building projects to build confidence. At the end of camp, the players were treated to inspirational words from active-duty troopers and were awarded Special Operations Wing patches as a keepsake.

The goal of camps like these is to acquaint America’s youth with their armed forces through various activities that promote teamwork and patriotism. The Special Operations Wing’s mission includes unconventional warfare, counterterrorism, and intelligence gathering.