HHC victorious in 65th Eng. Sapper Stakes competition

| February 24, 2011 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Brett Davis (left) instructs Spc. Jose Bonifaz, both with 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, on techniques for placing “Bangalore” demolition effects into working orders during the battalion’s Sapper Stakes competition at Schofield Barracks, Feb. 8-10. (Spc. Darnell Collins | 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

Sgt. Brett Davis (left) instructs Spc. Jose Bonifaz, both with 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, on techniques for placing “Bangalore” demolition effects into working orders during the battalion’s Sapper Stakes competition at Schofield Barracks, Feb. 8-10. (Spc. Darnell Collins | 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

2nd Lt. Stephen Marthy
65th Engineer Battalion Public Affairs, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, put its combat engineer Soldiers to the test in the annual Sapper Stakes competition, here, Feb. 8-10.

Squads representing the battalion’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 95th Eng. Route Clearance Co. and the 70th Eng. Co. competed in the three-day event.

The best Sapper squad was determined by how well the Soldiers applied their skills in grueling squad-level situational training exercises.

The competition was designed to challenge competitors, giving them little rest during the 72-hour period and forcing squads to find ways to press on through adversity.

Squads earned points through their performances in a diverse set of events that simulated situations these combat engineers could very well face in war.

On the first day, squads completed zero qualifications on a range and then immediately moved to the day land navigation event. The night continued with a series of lanes, including squad defense, navigating a triple-standard concertina fence, a hand-emplaced explosive breach, and construction and emplacement of an urban breach.

The next day kicked off with Soldiers facing more lanes with a road crater, an enemy obstacle recon, demo calculations, a “Bangalore” breach and an 11-row anti-vehicular wire obstacle. By night, squads would plot a course through a land navigation course.

A 12-mile foot march capped off the event the following and final morning.

2nd Lt. Jason Oliver, HHC, 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., said he implored his squad “to keep pushing because every point was going to count, and each individual lane was going to be the decider.”

Indeed, every point did count, as HHC edged out the 95th Eng. Co. by two points to take first place. Oliver credited his squad’s performance to the amount of time the Soldiers prepared and trained.

“Soldiers knew their individual engineer tasks prior to going into the competition,” he said.

For others, encouragement from unit leaders made all the difference when times got tough.

“Having our company’s leadership out with us at some of the lanes, to keep us motivated and cheering us on at the end of our 12-miler, also contributed to our squad’s win,” said Spc. Aaron Winder, HHC, 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.

Lt. Col. Daniel Koprowski, commander, 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Morse, command sergeant major, 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., presented the winning squad with Army Achievement Medals.

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Category: News, Training

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