Guardian Challenge 2010 - Day 1 of Security Forces Competition
By Hien Q. Vu, Esq., SMC/PA
/ Published May 17, 2010
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. -- The 61st Security Forces Squadron team began its Guardian Challenge 2010 campaign with the tactics competition May 16 at the Air Force Academy's Jack's Valley.
The team includes 2nd Lt. Alea Nadeem, team coach; Department of Defense Officers Yvette Perez and Steven Haymes; Tech. Sgts. Rochanapan Silpe and Leslee Williams; and Staff Sgt. Alex Andriyanov.
The scenario was to secure a target area, clear all improvised explosive devices en route, perform a counterinsurgency operation, capture suspected insurgents, and collect intelligence information from the local populace.
"The scenario is close to the reality of current deployed operations," said Lieutenant Nadeem. "Our team trained under similar circumstances in the last month, so we were able to execute all the required maneuvers and tactics."
The training paid off. "By working closely together for 30 days, we gelled together as a cohesive unit," said Officer Haymes. "When we were in the competition, we all knew what our roles were in providing the necessary coverage and protection for one another."
The difficulty the team encountered was the altitude. At more than 6,000 feet above sea level, "oxygen becomes a precious commodity during prolonged physical activities," said Sergeant Silpe. "Even though we trained hard, nothing could really substitute the real environment."
To compensate for this disadvantage, team members acclimated their bodies by running. For example, Sergeant Williams ran about two miles outside. "The adjustment was tremendous, but it's the only way for us prepare effectively for the obstacle course on Day 4," he explained.
The team will compete in the marksmanship portion on Day 2.