Two Airmen assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) have been selected to compete with the USA Bobsled team in preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Air Force Captains Dakota Lynch and Christopher Walsh haven’t secured a spot on the team that will represent the country in four years, but just the opportunity to try for one.
Capt. Lynch is a U-28A pilot with the 34th Special Operations Squadron. Compact enough to land on small, improvised runways, the U-28A provides insertion, extraction, and resupply services to Special Operations Forces (SOF). It can carry up to 10 troops or 3,000 lbs of equipment. Additionally, the aircraft can be outfitted with a variety of high-end surveillance sensor and conduct tactical airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.
Capt. Walsh is a Special Tactics officer — a Combat Controller (CCT) officer — assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing. Other than CCTs — who are attached to other SOF units and provide air-ground communications support (to include air traffic control, fire support, and command and control) — Special Tactics includes Pararescuemen (PJ), Special Operations Weather Technicians (SOWT), and Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) airmen.
Their training regime is comprised of a variety of sprinting and strength exercises. Since their ultimate goal is to push a 500 lbs bobsled to up 24 miles per hour in just 60 metres, they have to have extraordinary explosive strength. Capt. Lynch described the launching of bobsled as, “a metal and carbon fiber bullet rifling down an ice track at speeds of 85-95 miles per hour. It’s like a fast-moving jet with a monkey at the controls while getting in a fight with Mike Tyson.”