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Utah Air National Guard's Dynamic Collaboration with UFC

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Perez
  • 151st Air Refueling Wing

The Utah Air National Guard hosted two elite UFC fighters, Dominick Cruz and Drew Dober, for a meaningful training event in an unprecedented fusion of military might and martial arts prowess on July 12 -13, 2023. Spanning two intense days, this groundbreaking collaboration showcased the Utah Air National Guard's multifaceted capabilities while offering the UFC fighters an unparalleled opportunity to learn, grow, and gain a profound appreciation for the men and women in uniform who serve and protect.

The training sessions commenced with the UFC fighters engaging in diverse activities designed to push their physical and mental limits. Guided by the skilled Security Forces, Cruz, and Dober delved into the intricacies of takedown techniques, honing their skills and demonstrating lifesaving maneuvers. Embracing the rigor of military training, the fighters advanced on enemies with precision and agility, appreciating the tactical prowess and unwavering discipline required of our uniformed heroes.

One of the most unforgettable highlights was the UFC fighters' immersion into aerial refueling on a KC-135 aircraft. Cruz and Dober witnessed firsthand a air refueling mission of two A-10 and four F-15 aircrafts. As they soared through the skies, the fighters were granted an exclusive perspective into the complexities of military aviation—a privilege rarely granted to civilians.

The UFC fighters were exposed to real-world scenarios requiring quick thinking, teamwork, and unyielding courage in the tactical simulations and live firing, simulation round, courses. Immersed in the Explosive Ordnance Department, they encountered the formidable size and gravity of the explosives that the EOD team regularly deals with.

While the physical aspect of the training was demanding, the Utah Air National Guard also equipped the UFC fighters with essential mental tricks to bolster their fighting careers. Learning to harness the power of mental resilience, Cruz and Dober were shown how to conquer adversity, remain composed under pressure, and channel their focus to achieve peak performance—an invaluable asset in both the octagon and life beyond.

The Utah Air National Guard's reputation as a force to be reckoned with will undoubtedly gain recognition on a global scale. The collaboration showcased the Guard as the best-kept secret.

Beyond the event's immediate impact, discussions about making it an annual tradition have ignited excitement among the Utah Air National Guard and the UFC. The enduring relationship between these two diverse entities exemplifies the power of building bridges, breaking barriers, transcending traditional boundaries, and fostering mutual growth and understanding of culture.

The Utah Air National Guard's groundbreaking collaboration with UFC fighters Dominick Cruz and Drew Dober transcended the boundaries of military service and mixed martial arts, creating an unforgettable experience for all involved. As the world takes note of this unprecedented partnership, it serves as a shining example of the value of collaboration, unity, and diversity. By embracing the collective wisdom of diverse fields, breaking down silos, and promoting inclusivity, the Utah Air National Guard and the UFC have demonstrated that together, we can achieve greatness, inspiring us all to bridge gaps and reach new heights in every aspect of life.