103rd SFS troops up to the challenge

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jefferson S. Heiland
  • 103rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
The 103rd Security Forces Squadron participated in the annual CT SWAT Challenge once again last month and found out the competition continues to stiffen. The events kicked off Tuesday, August 23 this year at the Metacon Gun Club in Weatogue and wrapped up on Thursday the 25th at the MDC Reservoir in West Hartford. After what Lt. Jeremy Clark, Connecticut SWAT Challenge Director, called the toughest and most competitive Connecticut SWAT Challenge ever, the Massachusetts State Police Tactical Team emerged as the event's overall winner.

The Flying Yankee security forces troops placed 23rd in the Colt Multi-Gun Challenge, 14th in the Combined Team event, 23rd in the Tactical Sniper shootout, 8th in the Mystery Challenge, 14th in the Night Raid event, 16th in the PT Challenge and 22nd overall. They received the Top Military Team award again this year, as they have in all previous events. The PT Course covered more than five miles with 32 obstacles this year. Like every other year, support came from all over the base to root for our guys. People even brought their families to watch the events.

A lot of preparation goes into participating in the event. The team normally starts training months in advance to build team camaraderie and to get them physically prepared for the grueling competition. Because of special circumstances this year, they were only able to train for two weeks.

This year came with extra challenges as many of the security forces members are deployed and holes from last year's team had to be filled.

"Staff Sgt. Victorious Felder from 103rd Air and Space Operations Group was added on to the team this year because most of the cops are deployed," said Tech. Sgt. Ian P. McMahon, a participant in the challenge and member of the 103rd Security Forces Squadron. "He did a fantastic job and was welcomed on the team. Also, he was prior special forces so his input helped the team out a lot," he said.

"It was one of the best years for the team as far as coming together as an actual team," said McMahon.

"We were thanked by other police departments during the PT portion for keeping our motivation up when other teams were struggling. They informed us that our motivation and positive attitude helped their teams out," McMahon said.

The team did especially well during the night firing event as a direct result of their specialized training.

"We definitely had a huge leg-up because our security forces night fire every year. They had a set up of night vision and thermal, and we nailed the shots quickly and accurately compared to most teams because of how familiar we are with the equipment," McMahon said.

More information about the event, hosted by the West Hartford Police Department, can be found on the official website, http://www.ctswatchallenge.com.