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    Patriot Days



    Story by Daniel Garas 

    Defense Imagery Management Operations Center     

    Yund, the commander of the 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, brought his Soldiers to compete against their counterparts in the Kuwait Air Defense Force during a two-day series of events held at the Kuwaiti Air Defense Force Headquarters as well as Camp Arifjan. The first day focused on technical skills highlighting tactical proficiency and teamwork, while the second focused on physical fitness and sports activities. Whether it was technical competitions or fitness-based, the activities were all designed to build stronger relations between the two militaries.
    "These personal interactions truly help our Soldiers and our Kuwaiti brothers get to see each other in a more social setting," said Yund. "These types of events allow the soldiers to relax and at the same time strengthens the artillery brotherhood."
    The tactical portion of the competition kicked off with five-person crews from each country conducting a timed reloading of an M902 Patriot missile launcher. With many steps involved in the loading sequence, it is important to be accurate as well as fast. Adding the competitive element pushes each team to rely on their training, said Yund. While the Kuwaiti teams have claimed victory over the U.S. in the past few competitions, this time the Battery D Soldiers pulled ahead of the Kuwaitis by eight seconds.
    "Winning the Patriot competition was very gratifying," said Yund proudly, "I thought that both of the crews did an outstanding job, but it was nice to come out on top."
    The U.S. and Kuwaiti forces conduct joint tactical training on a weekly basis and larger training events monthly, but due to the unit's high operational tempo, fun activities such as this week's competition are only bi-annual. As a result, most Soldiers only get to attend once during their tour. It has become a talked-about event that Soldiers of the unit have come to anticipate.
    PFC Addie Sann, crewmember with Battery A of the 1-44th ADA Regt., was part of the competition. As a first-time attendee and representing the unit as part of the volleyball team, he was excited to be a part of the rivalry, partly because of the low-stress environment that the event encourages.
    "It's a good time to relax and decompress and have a good time out in the sun," said Sann.
    Sann showed a lot of confidence prior to stepping on the volleyball court, but displayed a little more humility after the game, as did his comrades on the soccer team who also forfeited their trophies to the Kuwaiti team.
    "The Kuwaitis are great competitors," said Sann. "They surprised us when they won at volleyball."
    At the end of the day, however, participants never forgot they were on the same team.
    "This is a great bonding opportunity," said Yund of the competition. "It is important to build the camaraderie, esprit de corps, and partnership with our Kuwaiti brothers."



    Date Taken: 12.29.2016
    Date Posted: 01.31.2017 10:25
    Story ID: 221998
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW 

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