Air Force Reservist Dies after Fitness Test


A reservist with the U.S. Air Force collapsed as he was about to complete a fitness test and later died, several media outlets reported.

Staff Sgt. Richard Spofford, a maintenance technician with the 315th Maintenance Group at Joint Base Charleston (SC), was nearing the last lap of the fitness test's 1 1/2-mile run when he collapsed, according to the Air Force Times. Spofford was taken by ambulance to Trident Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. He was 26.

A funeral for Spofford will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday. The cause of death will be released in a couple of weeks, the newspaper reported. Spofford had served in the Air Force for 7 1/2 years, according to the Times.

"The men and women of Joint Base Charleston are deeply saddened by the loss of Sergeant Spofford," Col. Scott Sauter, commander of the 315th Airlift Wing, said in a statement. "Richard was an integral part of the 315th family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Richard's family, friends and co-workers during this difficult time."

Prior to the run, Spofford had completed the push-ups, sit-ups and waist measurement portion of the test, the Times reported. Spofford had completed the PT test several times with the 315th and was required to take the test every six months with the group, 315th Airlift Wing Chief of Public Affairs Maj. Wayne Capps told the newspaper. More from the Air Force Times:

"Airmen on active duty and in the Reserve are required to test every six months, unless they score above a 90 out of a possible 100 points. Those who score above 90 are required to test only once a year."

Spofford's death is the 12th fitness test-related fatality in the Air Force since January 2010, a spokesperson for the Air Force Safety Center told the Air Force Times.

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