Delta 3 honors fallen service members, builds resiliency through Memorial Day workout

  • Published
  • By Ms. Emily Peacock

Under cloud cover and the sounds of heavy metal blasting from a nearby speaker, approximately 50 members of Delta 3-Space Electromagnetic Warfare gathered at Peterson Space Force Base’s track Wednesday morning to complete the grueling workout “Murph” ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Comprised of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 bodyweight squats and a final one-mile run, Murph pays tribute to Navy Lt. Michael Murphy, the first service member to be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in Afghanistan in 2005 (U.S. Department of Defense).

On June 28, 2005, while serving during Operation Red Wings, Lt. Murphy, along with three other service members, were ambushed by over 50 insurgents.

“In an effort to get a QRF [quick reaction force] to his team, Lt. Murphy exposed himself to massive enemy fire, eventually succumbing to his wounds,” explained 1st Lt. Ben Hagan. “In the process, he was able to call the QRF to get a rescue team in there.”

The QRF, consisting of one CH-47 Chinook and two AH-64 Apaches, answered the call for the help. While attempting to land at the rescue sight, the Chinook was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, killing all 16 members of the 160th SOAR and Navy SEALS on board.

“I bring that up so you can think about it throughout this weekend and throughout today, not just of that operation, but of every sacrifice American servicemembers have made,” said Hagan. “Recognize that we live the lives that we do because of the sacrifices that came before us and that will come after us.”

After a quick Delta photo, Airmen and Guardians split up into pace groups on the Cyan-blue track, some sporting 20-lbs vests symbolizing the body armor worn by Lt. Murphy and his fallen servicemembers.

Over the next hour, members from Delta 3 pushed themselves physically and mentally to complete the workout.

“The hardest part for me was completing all the body-weight exercises and then finding the courage and strength to run another mile,” said Spc. 4 Timothy Hamrick. “But if we can exude even a fraction of the mental and physical toughness that Lt. Murphy did that day, then this team is ready for any fight.”

While the workout gave participants a moment to reflect on what Memorial Day means to them, it also built camaraderie and resiliency among the force.

“Space Delta 3 is one of the primary expeditionary units within the Space Force, so we always have to be ready to deploy around the world,” explained Col. Christopher Fernengel, Delta 3 commander. “Fitness is very important from a resiliency standpoint. We build that resiliency and that Esprit de Corps by doing workouts like this, honoring the memory of our fallen.”