News: US and Kuwait Best Crew Competition
Story by Staff Sgt. Antwaun Parrish
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait - Two nations engaged in fierce competition, but in the end both countries walked away with an enhanced partnership and a new respect and admiration for each other.
Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 44th Air and Missile Defense Battalion along with soldiers of the Kuwait Air Defense Force participated in a Best Crew competition at Camp Arifjan and the Kuwait Air Defense Headquarters, May 4 and 12, 2014. The events of the competition consisted of: soccer, basketball, air defense tasks, disassembling of an M16 A2 service rifle and the dawning of Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) equipment placement, to see who could prepare for a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear attack the fastest.
1st Lt. Joshua Borland, the battalion’s chemical officer, participated in two of the events and shared his thoughts on how important he feels that events like these are in an effort of continuing to build the partnership with the Kuwaiti military forces.
“It’s a great joint opportunity to participate with our Kuwaiti partners,” said Borland, a native of Hagerstown, Md. “It’s great to come out here and show that joint communal feeling that we have. This event is a friendly and fun competition to build pride and unity with our host nation.”
The Kuwaitis had previously won the basketball and soccer games that were held at Camp Arifjan on May 4. Not defeated but anxious to see how the day turned out the 1-44 ADA Soldiers showed up with the willingness to win but the Kuwaitis showed no mercy to their counterparts.
The competition continued on May 12, with the first event being the MOPP event. The Soldiers lined up and placed their equipment on the ground and waited until the host gave the command to begin. The Kuwaitis all finished first as the 1-44 Soldiers were still placing on their gear. This event set the tone for the rest of the morning but the U.S. Soldiers would stay resilient.
This is Borland’s first deployment and he expressed that he was excited about the chance to be part of the healthy competition.
“I’m glad that we have opportunities like this and I’m glad that we get to interact with another nation, said Borland. “This allows us to have that competitive edge but at the same time bring us together.”
Borland, who also works in operations, knows that his unit’s leaders will have more opportunities to interact with the host nation and he’s glad that others in the unit now get the same experience.
“There are a lot of engagements with the leaders, but this is the first large engagement we got to come to with a larger formation,” said Borland. “This allows for Soldier interaction as well.”
Spc. Jerome Teribury, a patriot fire control enhanced operator and maintainer, enjoyed the competition and feels that even though his unit didn’t win most of the events they still did what they were supposed to.
“The Kuwaitis did outstanding and they were very fast,” said Teribury, a native of Killeen, Texas. “We can learn from some of their techniques, but we did our job as far as completing [events] to standard.”