Thirty-six Airmen and Soldiers across the Kaiserslautern Military Community participated in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Maltz Challenge workout March 30 at the 435th Security Forces Squadron compound on Ramstein.
This was the first time the Maltz Challenge has been conducted outside the contiguous United States. The event was a joint venture between U.S. Air Force 435 SFS and the U.S. Army 19th Battlefield Coordination Detachment. The attendees included Airmen from the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center.
The Maltz Challenge workout is a memorial event to honor fallen Airman Master Sgt. Michael Maltz who was killed in action while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003.
“I’m here today to build comradery with my fellow Soldiers and service members with the (603rd Air and Space Operations Center) and my 19th BCD team, as we build a stronger Europe together and commemorate the fallen,” said Maj. Christopher Bluhm, 19th BCD.
During the challenge, participants were asked to complete a series of physical fitness exercises, including a 100-meter fireman’s carry and 50 pull-ups.
While participating in the fireman’s carry, Spc. Claude McCaskill, 19th BCD, chose to include his 4-legged battle buddy, Simba the German shepherd.
“Simba is out to support the cause, too,” he said. “There are military working dogs that also lose their life in the line of duty.”
The joint event was led and organized by Staff Sgt. Julius Taylor, 435 SFS and Sgt. 1st Class, Timothy O’Day, 19th BCD.
“Anytime you have the opportunity to recognize a fallen hero or do something in their honor, it means something to us as servicemembers and especially to me as a battlefield Airman like Master Sergeant Maltz,” Taylor said.
The event also honored many other servicemembers killed in action.
“One of the key things to take away from the DEA Maltz Challenge, is that it is not only honoring Mike Maltz but there is also a list of other honorees that are brought to the DEA’s organizers attention and their names are listed and recognized,” O’Day said.
The event was open to all military cardholders. O’Day hopes that this event is something that will become a tradition or continue to grow.