MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
The 366th Security Forces Squadron competed for best of the best during their inaugural “Defender Challenge” March 6, 2018.
The challenge consisted of 10 teams of four defenders competing for the best overall time in a three-mile ruck march with numerous obstacles along the way.
"As defenders, it's absolutely critical that we are in our best physical and mental shape, should a combatant commander call upon us to defend an air base,” said Maj. Michael Twining, 366th SFS commander. “What we did today brought our unit together for camaraderie as a family, as team members, as brothers and sisters and it fully tested us.”
Teams began with a run in their gas masks, followed by a vehicle push, fireman’s carry, clearing and shooting targets in their training house, a written test and several other events. All these tasks were completed while participants carried 30 pound rucksacks.
The Military Working Dog section was selected as the overall winning team. A highlight of their win includes completing the shoot-house portion of the competition with zero mistakes, two minutes before the next fastest group.
“It feels really good for the K-9 section,” said Staff Sgt. Steve Watkins, 366th SFS military working dog handler. “We work really hard training, so it means a lot to us and it shows the time we put into our craft.”
With the success of the Defender Challenge orchestrated by three coordinators and 15 volunteers, it is expected to become a reoccurring event.
“We got the push to make it happen three and a half weeks ago,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Kruse, 366th SFS standards evaluation section. “The events will probably change to fit what the commander's intent is. This time he wanted something that was a lot more strenuous versus next time maybe it will be more mental based. I went with what I had and I think it went well and everyone had fun."