By 2nd Lt Shawn Woodall Jr.
4th Space Operations Squadron
Airmen from the 50th Security Forces Squadron put their strength, agility, and teamwork to the test during the Guardian Challenge obstacle course competition May 19 at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The team, consisting of Staff Sgt. Andrew Lewis, Senior Airman Alberto Lopez, and Airmen 1st Class Warren Malcolm and Eric Sauls, navigated their way through 17 obstacles on Jack’s Valley. The team competed against other Air Force Space Command security forces teams as they tackled the rope swing, monkey bars, low crawl, climbing walls, and ended with a four-man litter carry across the finish line.
Two Airmen started off the competition, as they made their way through the first obstacle; the other two team members followed their lead. They started off strong tearing into the course, crossing the rope bridge, swinging across on the rope. It was literally an uphill battle for the Airmen, but they kept pushing forward.
“We had to dig deep and push as hard as we can,” said Airman Sauls.
Enthusiasm was high as a crowd of Schriever spectators cheered them on. Full of grit and determination, the Schriever competitors raced back down the hill only to be met by a series of climbing obstacles.
Dazed and exhausted following the completion of the climbing obstacles, Schriever team members then traversed a rope bridge, and finished with an event that tested not only their fitness level, but their teamwork. Called the “litter carry,” teams were tasked with carrying a litter with a 125 pound dummy more than 300 meters to the finish line. They were tired but they were determined to finish, with the crowd screaming and cheering they finished strong.
“The course was difficult but the ‘weaver’ was the hardest obstacle,” Airman Sauls said.
Airman 1st Class Matthew Cleveland, 4th Space Operations Squadron, portraying Gen. William Palmer, added, “It was an intense competition; everybody put forth a great effort today.”
As for training for the event, Airman Sauls said, “Everyone had to do a trial in order to be chosen.”
The security forces contenders had to take an Army style physical fitness test which consisted of a two-mile run, and two-minute pull-ups and sit-ups exercises. Their shooting scores were also among the selection criteria.
Airman Sauls said of the event, “I am proud to represent Schriever in this competition.”