By Senior Airman
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Tech. Sgt. Spencer Wallace, flight sergeant with the 50th Security Forces Squadron, will represent Air Force Space Command at the 2018 Air Force Defender Challenge.
He will be joining six other AFSPC Airmen in the competition to include Tech. Sgt. Sinjen Halsey with the 21st Security Forces Squadron; Senior Airman Leopoldo Ruiz with the 30th Security Forces Squadron; Senior Airman James Strohmeier with the 21st SFS; Senior Airman Nicholas Rauch with the 460th Security Forces Squadron; Airman 1st Class Eric Knierim with the 30th SFS; and Airman 1st Class Oscar Delgado, Jr. with the 45th Security Forces Squadron.
“The Defender Challenge is a big part of security forces heritage,” Wallace said. “We found out we made the team at the end of July. I was excited and ready to train with my teammates. It’s always great to train and I am looking forward to this opportunity.”
The Defender Challenge is returning after a 14-year hiatus. Fourteen security forces teams from Air Force major commands, Great Britain and Germany will compete in the Defender Challenge at Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis, Texas, Sept. 10 — 13.
The Defender Challenge is a three-phase competition consisting of weapons scenarios, dismounted operations and physical fitness.
After completing the scenarios, the team with the most combined points will win the Sadler Cup, which is named after Maj. Gen. Thomas Sadler, who served as Air Force Chief of Security Police from 1975-1977. Great Britain has held the trophy since winning the last competition in 2004.
Before making the AFSPC team, Airmen were hand-selected based on their physical fitness tests and firearms qualifications.
The newly-formed team then trained for seven days together to prepare for the competition.
“While training, we did not know the particular scenarios that would occur during the competition,” Halsey said. “However, once we are out there, I will act as the liaison between the security forces center and my team. For now, we have been training hard on what we can and we have definitely seen cohesion over the past week.”
All seven Airmen are looking forward to representing AFSPC and to prove themselves to all other major commands.
“Some may have a perception that being in AFSPC means we don’t train on certain techniques such as land navigation and close quarter battle drills; however, we all have background training as security forces members,” Halsey said. “Once we go there, the other teams will realize not only are we on the same level, but we may be better than some of the other MAJCOM’s. We want to go there and create the biggest upset in Defender Challenge history.”
Wallace expressed his excitement for this unique opportunity.
“Being able to continue a Defender tradition means a lot,” he said. “I am looking forward to competing amongst my fellow security forces members. We are looked at as the underdog, especially since we have had so little time to train as a team. However, I like being the underdog — so we can prove ourselves to all the other commands.”