SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Twenty Special Tactics Airmen are on a ruck march from San Antonio to Florida in honor of  20 Special Tactics Airmen who have been killed in action since 9/11. Carrying backpacks, they started the 830-mile memorial march shortly after 2 a.m. Friday at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland’s Medina Annex on the way to Hurlburt Field in Florida.

Ten teams of two Special Tactics Airmen walked the first 4.7 miles together.   Each team will ruck an average of 12 miles per leg for a combined 70 miles a day to complete the 830-mile journey over 11 days.   A memorial baton inscribed with the names of the 20 fallen Special Tactics Airmen will be carried along the route.

Among those being honored are Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller from Pennsylvania who was killed in Afghanistan November 27.  The marchers also are honoring the Gold Star Families of the fallen heroes.

They’re scheduled to arrive at Hurlburt Field March 4.  You can get live updates and track the Special Tactics memorial ruck march here.

There are about 1,000 Special Tactics operators who comprise the U.S. Special Operation Command’s tactical air and ground integration force and the Air Force’s special operations ground force. These are hand-selected airmen who conduct global air, space and cyber-enabled special operations to prepare for and fight our nation’s wars.