Heat takes toll at Air Force Academy basic training

July 23, 2013 Updated: July 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm
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Temperatures topping 90 degrees in Jack’s Valley on the Air Force Academy took their toll Tuesday as seven cadets suffered heat exhaustion during strenuous basic training exercises.

Academy spokesman John Van Winkle said all seven cadets were expected to recover and were being treated with water and other liquids.

Tuesday was the first full day of training in the valley on the north side of the 18,500-acre base. The regimen includes an assault course and an obstacle course.

Van Winkle said cadets are required to drink large quantities of water through the day and are given breaks to allow them to cool down and consume fluids. The assault course also includes a mud pit and water showers to cool freshmen cadets. The academy also has medics stationed at every stage of the courses.

Heat exhaustion, though, remains a perennial problem during basic training.

So far, the freshmen are hanging tough in the grueling basic training cycle that started in June. The class entered with 1,190 cadets and as of Tuesday had 1,161 cadets remaining — a low drop-out rate compared to past years when dozens of cadets opted to leave.

The cadets will remain in Jack’s valley, living in tents and building military skills, through Aug. 2.

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