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    81 TRW says ‘game on’ with Keesler Con

    81 TRW says ‘game on’ with Keesler Con

    Photo By Senior Airman Elizabeth Davis | The children of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kevin Brockler, 81st Mission Support Group...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Elizabeth Davis 

    81st Training Wing

    In one action-packed weekend, the 81st Training Wing hosted their second annual Keesler Con event and served as a first-time host of the Eastern Regional Esports Invitational, May 4 – 5.

    Capt. Justin Coulter, 1st Lt. Sarah Goodrich, Tech. Sgt. Tyler Kelly, Staff Sgt. Andrew Tello and Staff Sgt. Austin Ellsworth are the team who have worked hard to make these events happen. As official Air Force Gaming Base Ambassadors, they’ve been instrumental in putting Keesler on the map in the gaming community.

    “They are the true story of ‘Empowered Airmen’,” said Lt. Col. Katherine Kuc, 81st Force Support Squadron commander.  “They are all volunteers and do this because they have a passion for building a community in gaming. They host Dragon Gaming events, represent Keesler and Air Force Gaming at various local conventions, support e-gaming at the Youth Center, are the powerhouse behind Keesler Con and are directly responsible for Team Keesler being able to host the Eastern Regional Esports Invitational this year.”

    Keesler Con is the base’s annual convention that allows attendees to immerse into all things comics, art, movies, gaming, esports and more. The Eastern Regional Esports Invitational is run through Air Force Gaming, with teams playing for a chance to represent the Air Force and the North American region. Keesler was represented in the EREI by several members of the 81st Security Forces Squadron, including Tech. Sgt. Michael Daehnert, Staff Sgt. Corey O’Steen, Staff Sgt. Anthony Ryan and Airman 1st Class Nicholas Mattina.

    The 81st Training Wing was selected by AFG leadership to host the EREI this year because of the success of Keesler Con and the forward momentum gained by the AFG Ambassador team in the last year. Hosting the tournament on the same weekend as the convention was an added bonus for attendees.

    In addition to developing events like Dragon Gaming on base, the team does community outreach to spread awareness by attending local conventions, participating in online tournaments and sharing their experience on panels and interviews with the game development industry.
    One of their main missions is to refresh what people think they know about gaming.

    “What we do is competitive gaming,” said Staff Sgt. Austin Ellsworth, 333rd Training Squadron instructor. “Instead of football on a field, we compete digitally – you can even compare it to other competitive mental sports like chess. We all hope to continue to spread awareness about the AFG program, the benefits of gaming and fight against the stigma of being a ‘gamer’.”

    Gaming develops skills needed for the high-end fight, including enhanced critical thinking, adaptability, hand-eye coordination, mathematics, strategy, leadership, team building and communication.

    “All these aspects translate into leading people, establishing the purpose of an organization and setting clear team goals with vision and direction,” said Capt. Justin Coulter, 333rd TRS instructor. “We want to build an environment to allow people to grow individually through leadership opportunities and to create connections with their fellow service members.”

    The Ambassadors invite all members of Team Keesler to expand their mindset when it comes to gaming.

    “Gaming is not just for young people,” said Coulter. “Those who were competitive in traditional sports like me can find that same drive for competition in the gaming realm. Expand your aperture and give gaming a try. You might not think it’s for you, but come try it with us and see that you might love it.”

    Interested in gaming at Keesler? Check out Discover Keesler for events and more information.


    Date Taken: 05.09.2024
    Date Posted: 05.09.2024 11:34
    Story ID: 470785

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