Training for the elite

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tori Schultz
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
"It is a great honor to earn the title of a Phoenix Raven," said Senior Airman Jeffery Beilman, 6th Security Forces phoenix raven. "Upon graduation candidates receive a designation number from Air Mobility Command Headquarters, only the elite are awarded a number."

Phoenix Ravens are specially trained small teams that deploy at a moments notice to provide close security for aircraft in areas around the world, where the terrorist threat is high or unknown.

To become a Phoenix Raven an Airman needs to complete five-skill level training, score a 90 percent in each category of the Air Force Physical Fitness test, and have 18 months time in service.

At MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., the 6th SFS Phoenix Ravens hold tryouts for potential candidates consisting of a PT test and an interview process. Once selected, candidates go through a three-week "Pre-Raven" course that consists of PT, baton training, and combative skills to prepare for Raven school.

Each unit is awarded a certain number of slots at Phoenix Raven school, unit tryouts and completing "Pre-Raven" apprenticeship determines who gets to move on to Phoenix Raven school.

"Phoenix Raven school is located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.," said Beilman. "The school consists of physical and mental challenges, team building exercises, classes and school work. Hands-on portion consists of baton training, combatives, and other tools needed to be the best possible Phoenix Raven."

Not every base has Phoenix Ravens; most are stationed at AMC bases. The program is ran by AMC/HQ and depending on the mission of a specific base, AMC assigns ravens to additional units.

"To be a Phoenix Raven you have to overcome personal mental and physical challenges, hardships and always push yourself to be better," said Beilman. "The best part of being a Phoenix Raven is being able to get some of the best training the Air Force has to offer and traveling the world."