The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Airmen set out on memorial ruck run


Last updated 2/23/2019 at 12:51pm

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE — Early Friday morning, 20 Special Tactics airmen set out from deep in the heart of Texas on an 11-day, 830-mile ruck in honor of as many of their own killed in action since 9/11, most recent of whom was a combat controller from Cannon Air Force Base.

Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin died Nov. 27 along with multiple U.S. Army soldiers in Afghanistan’s Ghazni Province when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. That made Elchin the 20th Special Tactics airman killed in action since early 2002 and the first since 2015.

This is the fifth Special Tactics Memorial March since 2009 and “mimics the training passage our Airmen endure,” from its beginning at Lackland Air Force Base’s Medina Annex to the Hurlburt Field base in Florida, according to a news release from the 24th Special Operations Wing public affairs office.

The ruck consists of 10 teams of two, each of which “will ruck an average of 12 miles per leg and alternate teams,” covering about 70 miles a day with a scheduled completion March 4 at 1 p.m. in Florida.


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