3d annual Best Sapper Competition.
Over the three-day course, competitors must--
* Pass a physical fitness test.
* Perform a military operations on urbanized terrain (MOUT) breach of two exterior doors using explosive breaching methods.
* Tie knots used in mountaineering.
* Use an AN/PSS-12 mine detector to locate five mines.
* Qualify on the grenade range.
* Calculate the placement of timber cutting, steel cutting, breaching, and field expedient charges.
* Construct and swim with a poncho raft.
* Negotiate a vertical obstacle using the prusik climbing technique and the buddy rappel technique.
* Identify threat mines.
* Transmit a 9-line improvised explosive device (IED) report.
* Assemble and perform a function check of weapon systems.
* Destroy a wooden target using an abatis charge.
* Engage targets with pistol, rifle, and squad automatic weapon.
* Perform a MOUT breach, enter, and clear a building and engage multiple targets.
* Calculate and place an inert charge on a steel target.
* Provide combat lifesaver (CLS) medical care to injured Soldiers.
* Transmit a 9-line medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) request.
* Destroy a concrete target using a counterforce charge.
* Perform a 9-mile run with nine arduous "mystery" events.
Team 2, from the 66th Engineer Company, which also placed in last year's competition, said they came back to the competition for just one reason--to win. They said the competition seemed to be a little tougher than they remembered from last year.
During the awards brunch, Major General William H. McCoy, United States Army Maneuver Support Center and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, said that all the participants should consider themselves winners.
"I'm tremendously proud of the competitors," Major General McCoy said. "To go through what we put you through these past couple of days, you should all be proud of yourselves individually."
A Soldier from another team said nothing he had done before compared to the Best Sapper Competition. Although he had been through a lot of training, he said it was the toughest thing he had ever done in his life. The commander of the 577th Engineer Battalion, the sponsoring unit, said the competition allows sappers to test their skills and will, while increasing their esprit de corps. Teams compete for about 58 hours and cover about 50 miles. The events test their combat engineer and infantry skills.
The winning team was presented with a bust of retired Lieutenant General Robert B. Flowers, former Chief of Engineers, on 23 May during ENFORCE 2007.
Mr. DeLuca is a photojournalist with the Fort Leonard Wood newspaper, the Guidon. He served as a combat correspondent with the United States Marines from 1997 to 2001. He is a graduate of the Basic Journalism Course and the Intermediate Photojournalism Course at the Defense Information School, Fort Meade, Maryland, and holds a bachelor's in film studies.
Photos by Christian DeLuca
By Mr. Christian DeLuca
Sapper Teams 1. First Lieutenant Mark Gillman 66th Engineer Company Sergeant Gordon Paulson Schofield Barracks, Hawaii 2. First Lieutenant Colby Krug 66th Engineer Company Staff Sergeant Erasmo Flores Schofield Barracks, Hawaii 3. Captain John Evangelista 554th Engineer Battalion Captain Jason Winkelmann Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 4. Second Lieutenant Christopher Vernon 554th Engineer Battalion Second Lieutenant Brad Miller Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 5. Staff Sergeant Douglas LeBoeuf 554th Engineer Battalion Second Lieutenant Kenneth Stover Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 6. Sergeant First Class Eric Prescott 911th Engineer Company First Lieutenant Alex Viox Fort Belvoir, Virginia 7. Specialist Michael Cessaro 37th Engineer Battalion Specialist James Parthemer Fort Bragg, North Carolina 8. Sergeant Brian Telega 37th Engineer Battalion Specialist David Menjares Fort Bragg, North Carolina 9. Specialist Nicholas Wardwell 50th Engineer Company Specialist Jarred Wade Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 10. Sergeant Jeremy Gaspard 50th Engineer Company Sergeant Aaron Cole Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 11. Staff Sergeant Kevin Wiseman 515th Engineer Company First Lieutenant Daniel Hayes Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 12. Specialist Robert Overstreet 5th Engineer Battalion Sergeant Jeremy Coffman Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 13. Sergeant Michael Robinson 5th Engineer Battalion Specialist Jose Payes Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 2007 Best Sapper Competition Winners* Overall First Place Team 2 Second Place Team 3 Third Place Team 1 Events 1. Physical Fitness Test Team 3 2. MOUT Breach I Team 2 Team 3 3. Knot Tying Team 1 4. AN/PSS-12 Mine Detector Evaluation Team 1 5. Grenade Range Qualification Team 6 6. Timber-Cutting Charge Evaluation Team 1 Team 3 Team 4 Team 6 7. Poncho Raft Swim Team 2 8. Prusik Climb and Buddy Rappel Evaluation Team 3 9. Threat Mine Identification Team 6 10. 9-Line IED Report Team 3 11. Weapons Assembly Evaluation Team 1 Team 2 12. Demolition Calculation Team 1 13. Stress Shoot Team 8 14. MOUT Breach II Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 15. Steel-Cutting Charge Evaluation Team 1 Team 3 16. CLS Evaluation Team 2 17. 9-Line MEDEVAC Request Team 6 18. Counterforce Evaluation Team 1 Team 3 Team 4 19. 9-Mile Run Team 1 * Multiple entries indicate that more than one team achieved maximum scores.
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|Publication:||Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2007|
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