The “Downed Pilot” Extraction and Teachable Moments


Date: 6 May 2014

Team Leader: Bob The Builder (Rick Tanner)

Team: ODB (SH FNG), Mr. Hanky, Angler (WD), Culkin, The Hoff, Cobra Kai, Liquor-Cycle, Clueless, Bob The Builder (TL)

(9) SPEARHEADs arrived this morning to receive their mission, and they left having learned a few lessons about teamwork.

Here’s what happened.

0500 – TL Arrives at parking lot
0510 – Team has arrived.  Mission distributed: Move one dead man (downed pilot) to map point 10 (Bottom of THE HILL).  Time Hack: 20 minutes
0512 – Navigator chosen.  Dead man chosen (The Hoff). One 40lb Sandbag coupon and one poleless litter were provided.
0515 – Time starts.  Team moves out.

.25 Miles – First bridge passed. TL asks team if they know where they are going. Team indicates that they do. Continue on.

1.1 Miles – Arrive at second bridge. Team beings to realize they went the wrong way. TL revives dead man.

Move to THE HILL as fast as possible.

Angler falls behind.  TL tells Angler to stay put.  TL catches up to team.

After a few minutes, the team realized they had lost their man.  They send two men back to retrieve Angler.  Continue on.

Arrive at THE HILL.  Total Time: 40 minutes.  Time hack DOUBLED.

Two new men are dead : Mr. Hanky and Liquor Cycle.  Fireman’s Carry dead men up the hill to Boyce Park as fast as possible.

Team carrying Mr. Hanky arrives at Boyce Park.  Retrieve log and commence log PT.

Military Press x 10
Hold log above head til failure

Team carrying Liquor Cycle arrives at Boyce Park.  Retrieve log and commence log PT while Mr. Hanky team performs Burpees in cadence.

After log PT, return log to the stack.

Back to start point as fast as possible.

Total distance covered: 2.5 miles


Early on, the team made some crucial errors that totally changed the workout plan.  The route chosen by the team was twice as long as the most efficient route.  This was certainly a learning experience for the team.  It was painful to watch, but I had to let the error happen.  Ultimately, we carried the dead man on the litter about 1/4 mile farther than we had to.

The second learning experience was when Angler was left behind for dead.  Due to time, we did not require that he be carried for the remainder of the workout… Next time.

While my original plan would have been much more physically intense, the ultimate result was perhaps more valuable for those who are participating to develop themselves deeper than just physically.  Take advantage of the learning experiences, learn from the mistakes, and avoid making them again.   That is what SPEARHEAD is about.

Today was a great example of why SPEARHEAD is team training, not just a workout.  We are training to work together.  We are training for situational awareness, and to think on our feet.  Keep your head on a swivel.


Today was our first time bringing out the poleless litter.  What a great addition!

Great job by our SPEARHEAD FNG ODB.  He was a beast, and the fact that he weighs only 150 pounds was a GREAT thing when we got tired of carrying Hoff on the litter.  ODB is active duty Air Force, and is also training to become a firefighter.  Needless to say, this was child’s play for him.  Hope to see you out again later this week!

Mr. Hanky continues to show everyone up with his speed.  It seems like he takes off running any chance he gets.  His new ruck is arriving this week, so we fully expect to help him break that in soon.

Cobra Kai continued his work towards PATHFINDER by rucking from the workout to his work!  Eight miles towards his 36 Pre/Post workout mileage for Challenge #2.  Strong work, I know you’re going to crush the challenge in June.

Thanks again to everyone for coming out, hope to see you at the Charlotte Bridge Home tomorrow morning!


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