Ranger Assessment and Preparation Course Touches Ground at Vandenberg

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kadielle Shaw
  • Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs

A Ranger Assessment and Preparation Course (RAPC) event was recently held at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., Oct. 17-19, 2023.


The primary aim of the course is to develop each candidate’s leadership aptitude in order to bring the learned skills back to their work centers. The RAPC event is held at the installation level to certify candidates before attending service-approved Pre-Ranger courses and eventually U.S. Army Ranger School.


During this RAPC event, six candidates from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force attended from various units across the installation. Each day consisted of 15-17 hours of physically and mentally demanding tasks, all designed to further hone each candidate’s leadership skills. The candidates performed the Ranger Physical Assessment, a Combat Water Survival Assessment, a five-hour Land Navigation course under day and night conditions, a 12-mile road march with a 52 pound load, and numerous evaluations on machine guns and a claymore mine. Additionally, they learned patrolling techniques which tested their ability to plan, communicate, and execute orders under seemingly impossible time standards and stressful conditions.


U.S. Space Force Capt. Ryan Wilson, RAPC instructor, spoke on the importance of the course and its benefits to service members who complete it.


“Whether you are an infantryman in the Army or a Guardian on an operations floor, you will learn how to lead men and women under the worst conditions possible and still complete the mission,” Wilson said. “Ranger school will teach our Airmen and Guardians about themselves and their limits, and how to find new limits they never thought possible.”


U.S. Air Force Capt. Nicholas Cunningham, RAPC instructor, further explained how monumental the introduction of this course was for ensuring combat-ready military personnel.


“This is a historical moment not only for the candidates, but also for Vandenberg and the Space Force,” Cunningham said. “This is the first certified RAPC course conducted at a Space Force Base, which in itself is an extraordinary accomplishment. Additionally, all candidates successfully graduated the course, meaning that all candidates have the opportunity to further their skills by attending a Pre-Ranger course!”