Leopards win 1st TSC Sustainer Challenge Team Competition

Photo & Story by Spc. Ekta Shrestha, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) public affairs

CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT —The 1st Theater Sustainment Command hosted a three day Sustainer Challenge competition here April 5, 2011.

The physically challenging event focused on excellence in the core warrior leader tasks and drills that enhances camaraderie and morale for all deployed Soldiers.

Nine teams consisting of four contestants each participated in the challenge.

Each team provided one female, one member age thirty-five or older, one officer and one junior enlisted.

Representing the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st TSC, were Staff Sgt. Chrystal Yazzie, the battalion battle captain, Sgt. Steven Pagan, intelligence noncommissioned officer in charge, 1st Lt. Cory Bates, executive officer of HHC, Cpl. Dustin Arnaud, a driver with HHC, and team captain, Sgt. Christopher Rasmussen, HHC training NCO, who trained and sponsored the contestants.

The 553rd CSSB, a Fort Hood based unit under the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), is currently on a deployment in support of the final phase of Operation New Dawn.

On the first day, the contenders asked questions during the orientation and had an opportunity to meet each other during an ‘Ice Breaker’ social gathering.

The 1st TSC challenge competition consisted of six events over two days.

The first day’s events involved a 10 kilometer foot march with full battle gear, weighing 30 to 45 pounds, M-16 qualification range and a timed event of disassembling, assembling, then checking head space and timing on a M2-50 caliber machine gun.

The second day consisted of the Army Physical Fitness Test, conducting first aid with a 200 meter litter carry and combatives.

The Leopards completed the 10K foot march within one hour and thirty-two minutes and placed second in the event.

Each member of the team qualified sharpshooter or better, earning them first place in that event.

In the last part of the day’s event, they completed the task of disassembling, assembling, then checking head space and timing on a M2 in four-minutes and thirty seconds.

The APFT is comprised of push-ups, sit-ups and the two mile run.

The Leopard team scored a combined average of over 294 points in the APFT.

In the first aid event, each team had twenty minutes to complete the task. The Leopard team completed the challenge in eleven minutes and won first place.

Combatives was the last event of the competition.

Bates, Yazzie and Pagan won the first round of the challenge, earning the Leopards first place in the competition.

Bates, Yazzie and Arnaud won the second round of the fight, earning the team the first place overall in combatives.

The day ended with the award ceremony.

The Leopard team received five awards, ‘First place in the 1st TSC Challenge Team Competition,’ ‘Best Team Litter Carry/ First Aid,’ ‘Best Team for Shooting’ and ‘Best Team for Combatives’.

Yazzie also placed first in the female category and earned the title of the ‘Female Warrior of the 1st TSC Team Competition.’

“In competitions like this, you are as good as your weakest link and we did not have a weak link,” said Bates on his team’s victory, “We were all consistent throughout the entire event and were able to come together and finish as a team.”

“Our team trained very hard,” Yazzie said, “I am very proud of each one of my teammates and the results we have earned together.

The competition gave me the opportunity to get to know Soldiers that work in different sections within the Battalion.”

It certainly helped enhance camaraderie, which is definitely something you need during a deployment.”


news photoCAMP ARIFJAN , Kuwait -- Cpl. Dustin Arnaud, a driver with HHC, 553rd CSSB, applies a pressure dressing on Sgt. Christopher Rasmussen’s wound during a stimulation of Care Under Fire and Tactical Field Care.


news photoCAMP ARIFJAN , Kuwait —The Leopard Battalion won the awards for First place in the 1st TSC Challenge Team Competition, Best Team Litter Carry/ First Aid, Best Team for Shooting and Best Team for Combatives. Staff Sgt. Chrystal Yazzie, the 553rd CSSB battle captain, also received the award for the Female Warrior of the 1st TSC Team Competition.


news photoCAMP ARIFJAN , Kuwait—1st Lt. Cory Bates, the executive officer of HHC, 553rd CSSB, and the participants of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command Sustainer Challenge begin the 2.0 mile run of the Army Physical Fitness Test.


news photoCAMP ARIFJAN , Kuwait—A referee declares Staff Sgt. Chrystal Yazzie, the 553rd CSSB battle captain, as the winner of the second match of Combatives. Yazzie was also the winner of the first match and the overall Female Warrior of the Challenge.