News: Fuerzas Comando competitors gut through grueling aquatic event
Story by Sgt. Luke Rollins
COSTA DEL SOL, El Salvador – The Salvadoran special operations team took first place in the two-day aquatic event of Fuerzas Comando 2011 June 20 at Costa del Sol, increasing their overall lead to 145 points beyond second-place Ecuador.
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 19 when the ten teams in Group B took on the course. All eight members of each national team worked together to overcome what many described as the most difficult event of the entire competition.
A helicopter dropped off the competitors on the beach, where they began the course with a 6K run. Then they picked up a raft and paddled 100 meters into the forbidding Pacific surf before turning and rowing for a kilometer along the coastline.
Upon returning to shore, the teams carried the boat a half kilometer, dropped it off, and ran another .75 kilometers to the mouth of the Rio Jiboa. They crossed the river in full packs and flippers. At the opposite river bank they ran another kilometer to a pistol range, where they engaged targets at 5, 10 and 15 meters.
The teams then carried a hostage dummy another 600 meters to the finish line.
El Salvador carries its lead into today’s final competitive events, the obstacle course and integrated assault. Fuerzas Comando 2011 ends June 23 with a closing ceremony.