Guardian Challenge Security Forces Team return home

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Angelic Dolan
  • SMC Public Affairs
Marksmanship, tactics and a three-mile obstacle course were the events the Space and Missile System Center's Guardian Challenge 2006 Security Forces teams competed in Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 14-17.

The SF team had been preparing for the past several weeks to compete in the "best of the best" of Air Force Space Command's security forces teams. The team arrived in Colorado Springs, Colo., early to get acclimated to the elevation, Aug. 9.

Members from the 61st Security Forces Guardian Challenge Team included Lorenzo Humphrey (Mascot); Capt. (Police Officer) Scott Hall; Cpl. Manuel Rodriquez; Darrell Worthen; Cpl. Kenneth Davila (Alternate Member); and Capt. Jonathon Baker, a security forces augmentee.

Capt. Baker, Space Based Infrared Systems Wing, a program manager by trade, tried out for the GC Team and got a taste of security forces camaraderie.

"I was really worried about fitting in with the team at first, since all these guys are full-time police officers and they know what is going on. I have never done any tactics," said Capt. Baker "I sit behind a protractor and compass all day long. The DoD Police team were very professional and took me under their wing and trained me. I think when I got to Colorado I did as well as any other competitor. I felt very positive about my performances and my team member performances. Should I ever be deployed, I feel much more confident about being able to handle myself overseas in a hostile environment."

The event was kicked off during an opening ceremony at Peterson AFB, Aug. 14. The teams gathered in the base auditorium shouting their team chant as they waited for the Security Forces teams start off their competition. Mascots representing the teams hyped up the crowd. "Who ya wanna be ...?" SMC could be heard.

Lorenzo Humphrey, DoD Police Officer and the team mascot, kept the team motivated throughout the events. "It was an honor and privilege to be the mascot for the team," he said. "Since we changed the mascot to Space Warrior it has been more motivating."

been more motivating." "Guardian Challenge is all about raising the bar," said Gen. Kevin Chilton, Air Force Space Command commander, who officially welcomed the Guardian Challenge 2006 competitors

On the first day of the week-long events, 61 SFS team participated in the marksmanship competition at the U.S. Air Force Academy firing range. The team was initially delayed due to lightning in the area. Once cleared, they moved quickly to beat the sunset. The team fired their Beretta M-9s, M-4 semi-automatic rifle, and the M-209 grenade launcher at various targets in a timed course.

On the second day of the competition, Aug. 15, 61 SF team competed bright and early in the tactics portion at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Jack Valley area.

Their mission was to deliver a classified package from point A to point B without getting killed by enemy combatants. One by one, three 61 SF team member were killed in action, leaving Darrell Worthen as the lone survivor who delivered the package and completed the mission as Lt. Gen. Hamel and SMC's invited civilian distinguished visitors watched camera feeds and live action close to the objective.

"This was a team effort all the way. I couldn't have done it without the team. I am glad I was able to succeed," said Worthen.

The 61 SF team finally reached the competition finish line of the obstacle course portion of the competition at Schriever AFB at the heat of the day, Aug. 16.

The team maneuvered through a mile-and-a-half obstacle course stations by climbing, jumping, swinging from ropes and finally running the additional mile-and-a-ha

Capt. (Police Officer) Hall, the team leader, talked about the "lessons learned" after finishing the obstacle course. "You may have as much strength as you want, as much endurance as you need, but if you don't have the techniques, you are not going to be able to get through the obstacle course."

The 61 SF team were cheered on by their commanders and supporters as they crossed the obstacle course finish line.

"I am proud of my 61st Security Forces DoD police members," said Maj. Allan Sacdalan, 61 SFS commander. "They have demonstrated vital security forces skills and accomplished the mission. One team, one fight; I am defi- nitely proud of them!"

Team supporters and civilian distinguished visitors from their respective bases also came to support the security forces teams.

"This was a great opportunity for the civilians to see first-hand how our security forces train on a daily basis to protect us," said Mr. Dennis Lord, civilian distinguished visitor from the Space and Missile Systems Center.

The Guardian Challenge 2006 events concluded with the announcements of the "best of the best" award winners during a banquet in a hangar at Peterson AFB, Colo., Aug. 17.

"Hold your heads up high because you are all winners, because you all chose to compete and you are already winners," said Maj. Gen. Roger Burg, GC judge.

The overall Security Forces Team winner went to the 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

Even though the 61 SFS GC Team score was not high enough to win the trophy, General Burg stated their score was the best score for the average age of the team members being over 40. (The average security forces competitors' age was 20 years old.)

Gen. Kevin Chilton, AFSPC commander, reminded everyone that each competitor is a winner no matter who took the Guardian Challenge trophies, and each competitor is a winner and every person is critical to the command's warfighting mission.