Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Abel


Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) operators are specially trained personnel that are required to carry equipment to perform high risk tasks. Given the need to carry this equipment, it is important to understand the potentially deleterious effect that the additional load may have on tactical performance. Furthermore, it is important to identify physical fitness characteristics that are associated with the potential decrement in performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of load carriage on tactical performance and identify fitness characteristics associated with any decrement in performance. Twelve male operators performed a simulated tactical test (STT) on a live firing range with (loaded condition) and without external equipment (unloaded condition) and completed a battery of physical fitness assessments. Time to complete the STT in the loaded condition increased by 7.8% compared to the unloaded condition. Nine of the 13 STT tasks were performed significantly slower in the loaded condition. VO2peak was negatively associated and fatigue index was positively associated with the overall STT delta time. These findings indicate that a higher aerobic capacity and lower anaerobic fatigability are related to a greater resilience to carrying a load while performing tactical tasks.