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    Best Sapper Competition

    OPWS Best Sapper Competition

    Photo By Sgt. Andrew Mallett | III corps units partiipate in Best Sapper Competition at Fort Hood during Phantom...... read more read more

    FORT HOOD, TX, UNITED STATES

    10.19.2018

    Story by Sgt. Andrew Mallett 

    7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- Soldiers of 36th Engineer Brigade hosted The Best Sapper Competition at Fort Hood October 16-18, 2018 for Operation Phantom Warrior Salute, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of III Corps.
    The three day competition consisted of two-man teams from the various battalions across Fort Hood. The Best Sapper Competition was designed to test the skills and abilities of the soldiers.
    “It was a pretty tough competition,“ Capt. Sean Hutchison, who is assigned to 36th Engineer Brigade, and the officer in charge of the Best Sapper Competition, said. ”There were 38 Individual events encompassing over 40 miles in a 55-hour period. The weather conditions definitely made it more difficult. The competition identifies the best candidates to go to Sapper School. We are very proud of the effort put forth by the teams, and it took a large effort to put this thing together.”
    Under the cover of darkness, the competition started on a rainy morning at 3 a.m. with a 12-mile foot march into a physical fitness test.
    The engineers immediately continued on to 11-timed tasks that tests the skills and familiarity of equipment. They evaluated and evacuated a casualty, emplaced a claymore, constructed an urban breaching charge and various basic soldier tasks similar to testing one would be subjected to at Sapper school.
    “It tests our skills as a fully-functioning and operational force, but it also sets a standard,” Lt. Stephen Lariviere, who is assigned to 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, and the officer in charge of the round robin lanes, said. “These are our best, and these are the guys we hold as a standard for everyone else to reach by learning through personal and unit development.”
    During the day, the Sapper teams trudged through the mud for miles of Fort Hood’s training ground to get to the next stations, the M9 pistol qualification range, then day into night land navigation.
    With little to no sleep, day two began with twelve events, called Sapper Stakes. Walking for miles between stations that tested the combat engineer specific skills including wire obstacles, unexploded ordnance, route reconnaissance, and grapnel hook breaching.
    Teams were then met with the challenge of constructing a poncho raft and swimming to a designated buoy 200 meters from shore. The whistling winds pushed and pulled the competitors in the lake as their sight was hindered by scattered showers.
    On the third and final day the sappers harnessed any energy they had to conduct an unknown distance run with 11 demanding physical activities.
    In the end only one team would win, and that honor was earned by 1st Lt. Justin Newman and Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy Williams, who are assigned to 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade.
    “It’s about coming out here and competing, showing everything you know, showing everything that the regiment teaches you,” Newman said. “The competition gives perspective of how far you can really push yourself, what your limitations are, and how you can push passed them.”

    Top finishers were:

    1st Place -- Team 1: 1st Lt. Justin Newman, Sgt 1st Class Jimmy Williams, 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade

    2nd Place -- Team 8: 1st Lt. Kegan McKinnon, Staff Sgt. Koutangni Gbedji-Sokpa, 40th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division

    3rd Place -- Team 9: 1st Lt. Thomas Hoyt, Staff Sgt. Arich Erdeski, 1st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.19.2018
    Date Posted: 10.19.2018 14:21
    Story ID: 297048
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

    Web Views: 51
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