Creating Leaders, Airmen and Warriors returns

  • Published
  • 319th Training Squadron

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – After being inactive for two years, the 319th Training Squadron Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training recently re-opened the Creating Leaders, Airmen and Warriors, CLAW, course at Chapman Training Annex.  

CLAW is a mission-oriented leadership course designed for trainees to assess their leadership abilities, observe physical fitness, strengths and weaknesses in their physical fitness, and improve communication skills in a stressed mental state.  

Throughout the course, trainees are expected to be a Wingman and lead from the front. Some of the simulated scenarios trainees encounter in the course are evading capture, navigating heights, maneuvering wartime obstacles and scenarios, and navigating through debris from a destroyed building. 

"The CLAW requires trainees to use Wingmanship and teamwork,” said Tech. Sgt. Reece Flatland, BEAST section chief. “Trainees get to apply foundational expeditionary skills training like marching in a tactical formation, low and high crawling, and weapon carrying techniques.”  

The original obstacle course was built in November 1942. When the course was built, it was approximately 1.5 miles long with 14 obstacles, and trainees were required to complete the obstacle course individually. The current course is 1.3 miles with 13 obstacles and trainees must work together in gender-integrated teams to accomplish the course. 

"The CLAW course contains thought-provoking obstacles that challenge our Airmen’s leadership and resilience, while also placing high amounts of stress on physical fitness and communication skills,” said Tech. Sgt. Mariah McCarty, BEAST non-commissioned officer in charge. “Trainees will also be introduced to heritage memorials at each obstacle to instill gratitude and loyalty. The memorials will hopefully remind the trainees of human fragility, but also show them what they are capable of.” 

Both BEAST and CLAW teach the basic skills of Wingmanship, teamwork, physical fitness and leadership. Teaching these skills early will give a strong foundation for Airmen to improve on for the rest of their careers.