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What it takes to stay fit for special operations

Aug. 17, 2013 - 03:47PM   |  
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It takes more than running with full packs and jumping jacks to keep the military's elite special operations forces fit.

According to a request posted Friday by the Army Special Operations Command, two Fort Bragg, N.C.-based units, the 112th Signal Battalion and the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, are seeking an array of exercise equipment to keep their soldiers in shape. The equipment would be the envy of any gym.

The equipment they're looking for includes:

■ LeMond RevMaster Pro cycle ergometers. These stationary exercise bikes are made by the company bearing the name of three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond.

■ Powerlift equipment for free weights.

■ Dynamax medicine balls, battling ropes, climbing ropes and ladders.

■ Prowler 2 conditioning sleds. These metal sleds can be piled with weights to build leg strength.

Fitness is essential for soldiers in these units, which are part of the Pentagon's growing reliance on special forces. Since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, special forces troops have deployed to war zones more often than most units.

The 112th Signal Battalion has been involved in operations in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the past 20 years. Its soldiers are often some of the first people into a war zone and provide vital communications capabilities in combat zones.

The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade was part of an expansion of civil affairs forces first recommended in 2006 and operational in 2008. Its 900 soldiers help nations rebuild their government and military capabilities and have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar and Yemen.

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