F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE – The sun rises over hilly fields casting warm rays on groups of Airmen gearing up to start their ruck march. Camelbaks slosh as team leaders remind everyone to hydrate in preparation for the competition.
The 90th Security Forces Group find themselves once again at the beginning of their annual Crow Creek Challenge on Sept. 6, at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Over the course of the day, defenders would challenge themselves and each other, competing through physically strenuous and mentally-tasking obstacles.
The individual obstacles include fireman and litter carries, calisthenic exercises while wearing gas masks, a HMMWV push, mock improvised explosive device searches, and several more physical challenges.
“Each of the 14 stations are comprised of events that are exclusive to defenders and the mission we do. The knowledge and skill-set among the members will vary based on experience,” said Tech. Sgt. Heather Griffin, 90th Security Forces Group plans and programs NCO in charge. “We have subject matter experts who run the stations and determine the difficulty as well as the severity of the agility drill being conducted.”
Members of Team Guernsey began the competition with high expectations, giving each other high fives and filling the air with excitement prior to the start of their first station.
“Our team is pretty strong and we are definitely the best out here,” said Staff Sgt. Jesse Koritar, 90th Ground Combat Training Squadron instructor.
At the beginning of each of the station, team leaders called everyone to gather around, then all fall silent as a tribute is read about one of their fallen brothers or sisters.
Friendly competition between security forces squadrons is not the only intended outcome of the Crow Creek Challenge. Throughout the day, reflection, remembrance and honor given toward fallen defenders is frequently emphasized.
“Tech. Sgt. Joseph Lemm was killed Dec. 21, 2015, when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden motorcycle into a joint patrol with Afghan security forces outside of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan,” Staff Sgt. Kerrya Jones, 890th Security Forces Squadron security controller, read to his team members at the start of obstacle 13.
The small group listened respectfully before jumping into the challenge dedicated to Lemm and the other Airmen who sacrificed their lives for their country.
The teams were ranked based on the best times and completion of each obstacle of the challenge.
As the event came to a close, competitors and onlookers cheered as the 90th Security Forces Squadron was announced as the winner of the Crow Creek Challenge.