LEXINGTON — Heading to the races at Mid-Ohio this weekend? Be sure to head to the fan village to check out the Air National Guard Mobile Experience Physical Challenge.
The obstacle course will test participants’ strength and agility with challenges designed to simulate Basic Military Training, such as a cargo rope climb and a cliffhanger challenge. Participants must complete each obstacle correctly or incur a time penalty. Top finishers will be showcased on a leader-board.
The Air National Guard (a reserve component of the U.S. Air Force) sponsors the tour, which visits sporting events and shows throughout the country. The Mobile Experience will be open during the Honda Indy 200 on Aug. 1, 2 and 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is located at 7721 Steam Corners Road, Lexington.
Max Maxwell, a spokesperson for the Mobile Experience, said the purpose is to allow people to answer one question: Do you have what it takes?
The program started in 2009 as a way to build awareness about the Air National Guard. However, this year the physical challenge portion was added to fully immerse people in what military training is like.
“I would love for people to come out and just have fun,” Maxwell said. “There will be recruiters on site that can talk about more than 200 career fields in the Air Force.”
Sgt. Lincoln Clark is a recruiter at the 179th Air Wing Base in Mansfield. He commented that the challenge has a competitive factor, both internal and external.
“Being in the ANG is an opportunity to serve your country and have a part-time job. It’s also a platform to enable you to pursue your dreams, with perks like the scholarship program,” Clark explained.
Clark went on to say the 179th is one of four bases in Ohio. Home of the C-130 Hercules, a support plane for supply transports, the base employs about 1,200 people who come from numerous communities in the region. It helps with both state and federal missions.
“People need to know we appreciate their support,” Clark emphasized. “With budget cuts, keeping the base open is always a fight; we encourage the community to spread the word about what we do and write to members of Congress.”
Those interested in learning more about the Air National Guard can visit the website, www.goang.com or call 1-800-TO-GO-ANG to connect with a recruiter.
The Air National Guard is a reserve component of the United States Air Force. They serve a dual role, supporting both federal and state missions and are called upon in times of natural disaster, civil disturbance and to support homeland defense. There are 140 units across the US states and territories, allowing Air Guard members the advantage of being able to serve part time from a unit of their choice.