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ANG Defender Challenge team trains at Fort Chaffee

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gregory Wardle, a security forces Airmen assigned to the 153rd Airlift Wing's Security Forces Squadron, Wyoming Air National Guard, conducts pistol drills Jan. 22, 2020, at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas. Wardle is member of the Air National Guard’s Defender Challenge team, composed of Airmen from across the ANG who gathered at Ft. Chaffee to train for the upcoming competition. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Sherlock)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gregory Wardle, a security forces Airmen assigned to the 153rd Airlift Wing's Security Forces Squadron, Wyoming Air National Guard, conducts pistol drills Jan. 22, 2020, at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas. Wardle is member of the Air National Guard’s Defender Challenge team, composed of Airmen from across the ANG who gathered at Ft. Chaffee to train for the upcoming competition. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Sherlock)

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Security forces Airmen from across the United States gathered at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Jan. 21-25 to train for the Defender Challenge, a competition between security forces units.

The training introduced the Airmen who compose the Air National Guard’s team to each other as they trained on skills while identifying their strengths and learning to work together as a team.

“They got some valuable training and came together as a team so that the next training iteration they can build on that and hopefully come into the competition and take first place,” said Master Sgt. Frank Koeth, 188th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) training manager, who facilitated on-site amenities and equipment for the team.

Fort Chaffee was selected as the practice ground due to its quality facilities for skills that will be tested at the Defender Challenge, including shooting and marksmanship, land navigation, combat and wartime tasks, and law enforcement scenarios.

“It was an awesome opportunity to actually come out here because at my Guard base, we don’t have anything like this,” said Senior Master Sgt. Bradley Rose, Defender Challenge team member. “It gets everything that we need accomplished.”

The Defender Challenge competition will be held at Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis, Texas, in May 2020.

Members of the Air National Guard’s team include Rose, 185th SFS;1st Lt. Christopher Woody, 138th SFS; Master Sgt. Gregory Wardle, 153rd SFS; Tech. Sgt. Dedrick Baublitz, 103rd SFS; Tech. Sgt. Christopher Reed, 110th SFS; Staff Sgt. Jonathan Finer 124th SFS; and team coach Master Sgt. Jeffery Carter, 187th SFS.

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