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What Is Beast Week In Air Force Basic Training?
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What Is Beast Week In Air Force Basic Training?

Air Force basic training has evolved throughout the years, and even as little as 2006 has changed dramatically. What was once “Warrior” week out in wild has been replaced with what is now “BEAST” week.

This is where you will actually be on your own (more or less) without Smokey the bear in your face all day, and it is up to you and your flight to get through the obstacles the week has in store.

By now you will have been trained in some basic combat situations and will be put to the test to see if you can survive being deployed. This is known as, “BEAST” (Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training).

At the start of Monday on the 6th week of training you will be packed on a bus with your bag and almost everything jam packed in it. You will not be alone, you and your flight that is, you will be paired up with two to three other flights and have to all work as a team.

There are four zones in BEAST named, vigilant, sentinel, reaper, and predator. Pray you don’t get sentinel either because they never win!

You’ll know what I am talking about when you get there. Each camp will have 10 canvas tents where you will sleep alongside guys (or girls) from your flight and other flights. Not to be confused that these are unisex tents, they are not, there are girl tents and guy tents…

In the center is a hardened shelter, where you’ll do PT in and eat. You’ll also do “mock” drills where you will have to dress up in all your chemical suite and gear that goes with it and if its summer time it will be about 90-100 degrees. You need to be drinking more water in this week then you have in your life in order to not dehydrate that is.

There are about 5 defensive firing positions around your camp where you will be on 2 hour shifts a night with your M-16 “guarding” the camp. Just when you thought leaving the dorm meant you got out of doing these two hour shifts was over for a week, you get to gear up in the middle of the night with a flak vest and helmet, which is not to fun.

The point of BEAST is to prepare you for the end of the week when they will run an exercise to see how well you can work in groups with what you have been taught such as EOD and self aid buddy care techniques.

In my experience the best part about this week was the chalk walk.

This is real battle simulated such as the 1.5 mile IED (improvised explosive device) trail that has been littered with simulated roadside bombs that actually look real and are done in a tactical style with a team of about 10 or so. Get too close to an IED on this trail and BANG you die (the instructor will emphasize the fact with plenty of yelling).

Also on this chalk walk you will be broken down into teams and negotiate a combat obstacle course army crawling through sand up a giant hill (you think will never end) with your rifle, striking dummies that pop out at you, rolling behind bushes, hiding behind walls that sort of thing in order to complete it fast enough.

There are some good times waiting at BEAST for you, but the fact that it is still part of basic training means its not all fun and games and there are still parts that just plain suck. Your meals are all MRE’s (meals ready to eat) and they and your sleep will be interrupted.

So by the time you are ready to go back to the dorms you are not starving and calling dorm life home, then there is something wrong with you.

All in all though it was a great experience and was probably the best week (other than graduation week where we didn’t do too much) in basic training, so make the best out of BEAST!


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