News: Fuerzas Comando competitors evaluated on critical tasks
Story by Sgt. Luke Rollins
ILOPANGO, El Salvador – Brazil and Panama went target for target and forced a draw as the two-day Critical Tasks Evaluation event of Fuerzas Comando 2011 wrapped up June 18 at the Shangallo Range here.
Fuerzas Comando was established in 2004 as a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored special operations skills competition and senior-leader seminar featuring nations from Central and South America and the Caribbean.
The event began June 17 when the nine teams in Group A, led by last year’s winner Ecuador, tackled the course. Four-man teams engaged four stations, one competitor at a time. Each station tested the competitor’s accuracy and agility in firing and switching weapons while subjecting them to the pressure of the clock.
Brazil and Panama led the 10 teams of Group B who closed out the event this morning.
After two days of ducking, switching and shooting an American lane judge said he saw firsthand how the competition inspired the participants to a higher level.
“Everybody out here is real competitive and they all push themselves,” he said.
A member of the Chilean team, representing his country for the fifth time, said the experience he and his teammates have gained is a great boon to his country’s police force.
“The majority of the competitors here are in the Army, and there are only a few countries – Panama, Costa Rica, Chile – with police forces. It’s a great opportunity for us to see where we stand against our Army brothers and for us to level up with them.”
He said the Critical Tasks Evaluation event in particular translated well to real-life scenarios.
“I had a small hiccup firing my pistol which threw me a bit, so I had to readjust just like in real life. Things don’t always go your way 100 percent … but the hallmark of a good special operations member is the ability to work around equipment failures to accomplish the mission,” he said.