A show of strength: Space Delta 3 completes a different kind of lift off

  • Published
  • By Emily Peacock

Between muffled music from a nearby speaker and the sounds of cheers and barbells clinking, Guardians and Airmen from Space Delta 3 – Space Electromagnetic Warfare participated in a DEL 3 Lift Off at the Peterson Space Force Base gym Feb. 28, 2024.

Composed of three lifting techniques, the back squat, bench press, and deadlift, the purpose of the lifting competition was to create camaraderie through fitness and award bragging rights to the Guardian who could lift the most in each individual event or total combined weight across all three events.

In addition to bragging rights, men who lifted 1,000 pounds and women who lifted 500 pounds would receive “strongest in the galaxy” t-shirts.

“This event is open to all Guardians, Airmen, civilians and dependents who support DEL 3,” said U.S. Space Force Tech Sgt. Evertt Green, event coordinator and member of the DEL 3 Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Squadron (Provisional). “Everyone is trying to push themselves and each other to achieve their fitness goals.”

Green, who first arrived at DEL 3 in August of 2019, noted the importance of both resilience and camaraderie as one of the Space Force’s first Integrated Mission Delta.

“This competition is just a small representation of what DEL 3 is as a deployable IMD,” said Green. “It shows that regardless of rank we all have the same job, same mission, and that it takes all of us coming together to make each other better.”

As an expeditionary delta, DEL 3 Guardians must be physically and mentally ready to deploy on a short notice.

“As one of the few deployable organizations in the Space Force, it’s crucial that DEL 3 Guardians focus on improving their holistic health,” said Chief Master Sgt. Alex Birkle, senior enlisted leader for DEL 3. “When you’re looking at the technical aspects of our duties in the Space Force, you have to maintain a healthy, holistic lifestyle to be ready for anything when you’re called upon.”

Lifting and cheering alongside DEL 3 were two civilian members of the Space Base Delta 1 Guardian Resilience Team, a relatively new program composed of a holistic health integrator, physical therapist, certified strength and conditioning specialist, licensed mental health provider, mental health services specialist, and religious support team that delivers expertise in varying realms of wellness from physical to mental health.

“GRT enacts the holistic health approach which covers fitness, mental health, spirituality, nutrition and recovery,” said Kathleen Oswald, certified strength and conditioning coach for SBD1 GRT. “We look at increasing an individual’s mental, physical and social health, their ability to manage stress and their ability to show up with the right mindset.”

When asked what she thought of the event, Oswald noted the clear sense of camaraderie and support that came from working out together.

“This event demonstrates DEL 3’s ability to build a community through fitness and through moving together.”

 By the end of the competition, 13 DEL 3 Guardians, Airmen, and civilians lifted a combined weight of 12,475 lbs.

DEL 3 trains and presents operational combat-ready space electromagnetic warfare forces in support of assigned missions. DEL 3 is headquartered at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado.