News: 109th RSG wins first annual Coyote Cup
Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Beck
RAPID CITY, S.D. - Members of the 109th Regional Support Group took top honors in the first annual Coyote Cup competition held in conjunction with the Golden Coyote training exercise on June 20. The Coyote Cup is a multi-event competition that tests service members’ skills and endurance in a variety of team events.
“The goal of this competition was to encourage friendly competition between units, services and countries,” said Maj. Stephen Sewell, who organized the event. “National Guard, Air Force, Navy, British, Canadian and Danish units all participated.”
There were a total of 10 teams in the competition – consisting of five team members – and included the 109th, two British Army teams, a Danish Army engineer team, a Danish Home Guard team, a Canadian Army team, a Texas Navy Reserve team, an Ellsworth Air Force Base team and two teams from the North Carolina Army National Guard.
The idea for the Coyote Cup was first suggested by members of the Danish Army, who sent 83 members of the Danish Army and Danish Home Guard to participate in this year’s Golden Coyote exercise. Many of the events were suggested by members of the international units that participated in the exercise in order to make the competition more interesting and to balance the overall competition.
“The hardest part of the competition was just maintaining the endurance of doing all the events back to back,” said 1st Lt. Billi Jo Bierle, team leader for the 109th.
Events of the Coyote Cup included a vehicle push, orienteering course, long-distance run, obstacle course (suggested by the British units), bicycle relay race (suggested by the Danish) and log saw (brought to life by the Canadians). Teams drew chips to determine what order they would compete in for each event.
“It was real fun working with the other countries, the camaraderie was excellent,” said Bierle. “We were all cheering for each other.”
The most popular event of this competition was the log saw. Teams used a two-man saw to cut a section of log, and were scored on how fast they completed their cut.
Each event was scored by a group of judges based upon time taken to complete events, as well as techniques applied in the individual events. In the end, the winner of the competition was clear; the 109th Regional Support Group consisting of 1st Lt. Bierle, Sgt. 1st Class John Schreiber, Spc. Eddie Hruska, Spc. Mark Thompson and Pfc. Dean Frey.