Assassins, Barbarians, Commandos go head-to-head
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Flights from the 8th Security Forces Squadron went head-to-head during the Defenders Challenge held here Sept. 28 to prove who could best execute specific tactics.
The event pitted the Assassins, Barbarians and Commandos flights against each other and an admin team in a showdown of several combat skills vital to defending the base.
Over the past month, newer SFS members focused their training on individual tactics, team tactics, nighttime training, self-aid and buddy care, 9-line medical evacuations and more.
"A lot of our NCOs have been in Iraq or Afghanistan and engaged in combat, so they took those lessons learned and imparted them on our younger Airmen," said Lt. Col. Nathan Schalles, the squadron's commander.
Each team had to complete the same events: read a range card and program a radio, then sprint to and push a quarter-ton truck between cones. Next, they donned gas masks and sprinted around a field before assembling an M4 rifle and function-checking an M9 handgun. After removing their gas masks, they sprinted again to treat a comrade's simulated sucking chest wound before carrying him to the finish line.
Senior Airman Michael Ray was one participant who said the gas mask run was one of the most difficult parts.
"About halfway through the run, it got tiring," said Ray. "Events like this definitely help with morale in the squadron. As cops, we have a higher level of rivalry so this friendly competition felt good."
Although it was just a competition, they will fall back on these skills in a real-world situation.
"This is what SFS is all about. We like to show what we know, and I personally think it's a lot of fun to come out here and compete," said Airman 1st Class Skylar Bird, who represented Bravo flight's first element. "But at the same time, we would defend the base if North Korea ever attacked. I'm comfortable knowing we all can do our jobs properly so we could defend the base and protect everyone here."
Although each team pushed their limits, the day ended with Assassins, element two being named the victors.
"These are the skills our guys will need in wartime, so they need to realize the basics count, especially in a stressful situation," said Schalles. "The Airmen know we'll be doing this challenge again, so you can see them already trying to figure out how to come back stronger."