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AOC takes on Tough Mudder

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Staff Sgt. Brandon Lirio, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member, and his joint teammates train for the Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley here Monday, May 16, 2011.  The joint team is comprised of Air Force, Army and Marine Corps members from the 614th AOC.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Staff Sgt. Brandon Lirio, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member, and his joint teammates train for the Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley here Monday, May 16, 2011. The joint team is comprised of Air Force, Army and Marine Corps members from the 614th AOC. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Alexander Hernandez, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center  member here, pumps iron during a training session for the upcoming Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley here Monday, May 16, 2011.  The joint team came together to build camaraderie and improve their physical fitness.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Alexander Hernandez, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member here, pumps iron during a training session for the upcoming Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley here Monday, May 16, 2011. The joint team came together to build camaraderie and improve their physical fitness. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --   Army Sgt. Daniel Pineda, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member here, and his joint teammates train for the upcoming Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley Monday, May 16, 2011.  The joint team's training was comprised of 16 circuit drills to build up their cardio, stamina and strength.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Army Sgt. Daniel Pineda, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member here, and his joint teammates train for the upcoming Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley Monday, May 16, 2011. The joint team's training was comprised of 16 circuit drills to build up their cardio, stamina and strength. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members from the 614th Air and Space Operations Center sprint during their training session for the upcoming Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley Monday, May 16, 2011.  To prepare for the event the members ran six miles, three times a week, and performed 16 strength building circuit drills.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members from the 614th Air and Space Operations Center sprint during their training session for the upcoming Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley Monday, May 16, 2011. To prepare for the event the members ran six miles, three times a week, and performed 16 strength building circuit drills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Staff Sgt. Brandon Lirio, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member, and his joint teammates train for the Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley Monday, May 16, 2011.  The joint team is comprised of Air Force, Army and Marine Corps members from the 614th AOC.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Staff Sgt. Brandon Lirio, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member, and his joint teammates train for the Tough Mudder competition in Snow Valley Monday, May 16, 2011. The joint team is comprised of Air Force, Army and Marine Corps members from the 614th AOC. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Posing for a photo, Staff Sgt. Brandon Lirio, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member, Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Alexander Hernandez, Staff Sgt. Reuben Peralta, Army Sgt. Daniel Pineda, and Tech. Sgt. Gavin Iteen, take a breath after finishing their training session for the upcoming Tough Mudder competition here Monday, May 16, 2011.  The joint team will compete in Snow Valley, in an extreme obstacle race testing the team's endurance, overall strength and teamwork.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Posing for a photo, Staff Sgt. Brandon Lirio, a 614th Air and Space Operations Center member, Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Alexander Hernandez, Staff Sgt. Reuben Peralta, Army Sgt. Daniel Pineda, and Tech. Sgt. Gavin Iteen, take a breath after finishing their training session for the upcoming Tough Mudder competition here Monday, May 16, 2011. The joint team will compete in Snow Valley, in an extreme obstacle race testing the team's endurance, overall strength and teamwork. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Six members of the 614th Air and Space Operations Center here will see if they have what it takes to conquer one of the toughest races in the world May 28 at the Tough Mudder in Southern California's Snow Valley.

Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Alex Hernandez; Tech. Sgt. Gavin Iteen and Staff Sgts. Brandon Lirio and Reuben Peralta; Marine Sgt. Chris Pettingill; and Army Sgt. Daniel Pineda have come together to form the "Sons of Atlas."

"The team was formed with the intention to build camaraderie between the services," said Sgt. Lirio. "As the weeks in this training went on, the uniform color faded, and the only thing that mattered was the team and our goals of completing this training and completing this event."

Tough Mudder is an extreme obstacle course race held around the world at various locations. The race was designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. The course in Snow Valley is approximately 10 miles long.

Sons of Atlas have been training for this event since the first week in April and have continued by increasing endurance runs and circuit training. With obstacles like Devil's Beard which features low-laying cargo nets; and Electroshock Therapy, which promises a shocking end to the race if a runner hits a wire carrying 10,000 volts, this race is not for the faint of heart. The Snow Valley course has a summit elevation of 7,830 feet, increasing the need for stamina training here.

Tough Mudder is just the beginning for this group. They hope to continue after this event by qualifying to participate in the special elite force of the Tough Mudder race next year.