12th annual Maltz Challenge

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

The Drug Enforcement Agency's 12th Annual Maltz Challenge was held at Kirtland Air Force Base, March 9

The fitness challenge commemorates fallen hero Master Sgt. Michael Maltz, an Air Force pararescuemen who was killed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan March 23, 2003. Maltz was survived by a family member serving in the DEA, who initiated the challenge to honor his memory.

“It’s part of our culture, part of our ethos and part of our warrior spirit to get together and remember our friends,” said Master Sgt. Aaron Love, 351st Battlefield Airmen Training Squadron operations superintendent. “Fitness was a big part of Master Sergeant Maltz’s life and it is a big part of our lives as well, so it’s important for us to get together to tell his story and to do a workout that’s really hard as a team, to remember and honor his memory.”

More than 200 members of Team Kirtland participated in the event, compromised of local law enforcement, 58th Special Operations Wing and 377th Air Base Wing.

“It’s important to me to bring everyone in and foster a team environment because as parascuemen and combat rescue officers we are very sensitive to being part of a team, a high performing team and teamwork is built through shared experiences like this that typically aren’t easy,” said Love.

The crossfit-style competition featured a 400-meter run, and challenges in pullups, dips, pushups, situps and more. There was also a half Maltz option that modified the workout to accommodate all fitness levels. A team challenge also took place at the event, with the winning group receiving a championship belt.

For more information about the event, visit