Staff Sgt. Roque Ortega, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility, keeps on eye out for the opposing force as he and his teammates compete in the company's Best Watchdog Competition Nov. 23 near the All-Hazards Training Center. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Three teams of soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility, participated in the Best Watchdog Competition as a way to refresh basic Army warrior skills Nov. 23.

Staff Sgt. Roque Ortega and Spc. Gage Tomey enter the woods in search of the opposing force during Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility’s Best Watchdog Competition Nov. 23 by the All-Hazards Training Center. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“The purpose of this competition is to train our soldiers in the basic Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills they may encounter if they are deployed. Although they are correctional (officers), these tasks are to be mastered by all soldiers in the U.S. Army,” said 2nd Lt. Brett Harrison, 1st platoon leader, HHC, JRCF. “This training will put the soldiers in physically stressed situations where they will have to accomplish simple yet important WTBD tasks.


“The basic hope for the soldiers will be to understand what they can accomplish under stress and teach the basic fundamentals that every soldier needs to know,” he said.
The competition took participants through four different stations across post.
At the first station at the 705th Military Police Battalion (Detention) Motor Pool, participants had to disassemble, reassemble and perform function checks on an M4 carbine, perform tactical combat casualty care and perform preventive maintenance checks and services of a humvee.

Staff Sgt. John Visneski, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility, sits to the side of the trail after being hit with a paintball round by the opposing force during the Best Watchdog Competition Nov. 23 near the All-Hazards Training Center. Visneski’s team entered the woods after receiving a “report” that members of the opposing force were seen in the area, and then engaged in a paintball battle with OPFOR role-players along the trail. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


At the second station at Sherman Army Airfield, soldiers completed the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test.


“With the Marine Corps fitness test, one of the biggest differences you’ll see (from the Army Physical Fitness Test) is that we don’t run it in (physical training) gear; we run it in camouflage and what we would actually wear out overseas,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Kevin Wallace, Marine Corps Detachment. “We start out with a sprint, … then we move on to ammo can presses, and then we go to the maneuver under fire (completing) different cardio skills such as low crawls, high crawls, sprinting, carrying ammo cans and doing a buddy drag fireman carry.”


Soldiers had varying opinions about the fitness test.


Spc. Tyre Peace said he enjoyed the PT portion.


“I’m a fitness guy. I like to stay in shape,” he said.


Pfc. Rayshawn Crawford said she felt the exact opposite.


“The PT test was the hardest part. It looks easy, but then I got out there and my legs were burning quick,” she said. “With the Army, we just do the pushups, sit ups and then the run. … This was much more fast paced.”

Sgt. Dawnsherri Jackson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility, readies her weapon as she looks for the opposing force during the Best Watchdog Competition Nov. 23 near the All-Hazards Training Center. Jackson’s team entered the woods after receiving a “report” that members of the opposing force were seen in the area, and then engaged in a paintball battle with OPFOR role-players along the trail. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


At the third station, near the water tower on Sheridan Drive, participants completed a SALUTE (size, activity, location, unit, time, equipment) report and radioed in a nine-line report calling for medical evacuation for wounded soldiers.


The final station, near the All-Hazards Training Center, participants used paintball guns to simulate a battle scenario that include an attack on an enemy position.


“(The competition) has been fun. This is something I’ve been waiting to do,” Crawford said. “Since I’ve been here, I haven’t really been able to do any competition-type thing or do anything different than just cook in the jail.”

Spc. Gage Tomey, right, signals to his teammate Staff Sgt. Roque Ortega as the team makes its way toward the opposing force during the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility’s Best Watchdog Competition Nov. 23 near the All-Hazards Training Center. Tomey and Ortega’s team entered the woods after receiving a “report” that members of the opposing force were seen in the area, and then engaged in a paintball battle with OPFOR role-players along the trail. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Neither Peace nor Crawford have deployed to a combat situation, but they agreed that the competition has helped prepare them.


“Every soldier should be refreshed on just basic Army conditioning and how to hold a weapon, functions check and more,” Peace said. “This is definitely helping prepare us for any combat situation.”

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