11 SFS crowns top defenders

Searching the fields

11th Security Forces Squadron elite gate guards Staff Sgt. Reddzl Tuano, left, and Senior Airman Timothy Hosfelt, right, conduct an area sweep during the 11th SFS Defender’s Challenge on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 3, 2018. The challenge is a competition to display technical proficiency and build camaraderie. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael S. Murphy)

Room clearing

11th Security Forces Squadron elite gate guards Senior Airman Timothy Hosfelt, left, and Staff Sgt. Reddzl Tuano practice clearing rooms during the 11th SFS Defender’s Challenge on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 3, 2018. Urban tactics are part of the skill set that defenders are taught and expected to maintain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael S. Murphy)

Fireman's carry

Senior Airman Timothy Hosfelt carries Staff Sgt. Reddzl Tuano, both 11th Security Forces Squadron elite gate guards, during the 11th SFS Defender’s Challenge on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 3, 2018. The challenge tested defenders physically and mentally in weapon knowledge, urban tactics, land navigation, self-aid buddy care and response to attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael S. Murphy)

Ammo crates

Senior Airman Aaron Legardye, 11th Security Forces Squadron response force member, lifts a weighted ammunition crate during the 11th SFS Defender’s Challenge on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 3, 2018. The challenge included a fitness combat course used by Marines to test physical fitness and ability to process and execute commands under stress. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael S. Murphy)

Land navigation

11th Security Forces Squadron response force members Senior Airmen Aaron Legardye, left, and Anthony Poindexter participate in a land navigation exercise during the 11th SFS Defender’s Challenge on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 3, 2018. The challenge tested defender’s physically, as well as mentally, in weapons knowledge, urban tactics, land navigation, self-aid buddy care and response to attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael S. Murphy)

Awards

Lt. Col. Jonathan Bell, 11th Security Forces Squadron commander, presents a trophy to the squadron's winning team, Senior Airman Scott Gibson, center left, and Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gilmore, after completion of the 11th SFS Defender’s Challenge on Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 3, 2018. The challenge tested defender’s physically and mentally in weapons knowledge, urban tactics, land navigation, self-aid buddy care and response to attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael S. Murphy)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --

The 11th Security Forces Squadron hosted the first 11th SFS Defender’s Challenge here Oct. 3.

Teams of two defenders completed seven stations, testing their technical precision in weapon proficiency, urban combat, fitness, land navigation, first aid response and response to attack.

“The intent was to promote camaraderie and pride amongst the 11th SFS defenders through friendly competition,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Bell, 11th SFS commander. “I expect that after this first challenge, our competitors will be more proficient in the core tasks that the United States Air Force expects us to perform in a variety of environments and conditions.”

Bell said that participating in the challenge provided defenders a way to refresh their knowledge on skills not commonly used, like land navigation. Most SFS Airmen are not required to use that skill on a day-to-day basis, he added, but it’s a skill defenders are expected to know.

Staff Sgt. Lucas Rains, 11th SFS response team leader, said that it was easy to see the teamwork building.

“[This event] combines competition and using skills in a hostile environment, which [gave teams] that extra push and ability to lean on their battle buddy,” said Rains.

The 2018 third-quarter champions are Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gilmore and Senior Airman Scott Gibson. The 4th-quarter iteration of the event will be scheduled soon.

“Our squadron’s mission statement is, ‘Dominate the defense of America’s Airfield to enable national objectives in our nation’s capital and across the globe,'” Bell said. “This competition is a part of fulfilling this mission.”

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