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NEWS | Aug. 28, 2018

Defenders compete to represent ACC

By Airman 1st Class Anthony Nin Leclerec 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Nine U.S. Air Force Security Forces Airmen competed during Air Combat Command’s Defender Challenge team selection here, August 20-24, 2018.

Of the nine Airmen, six were selected to represent ACC at the 2018 Air Force Defender Challenge. After a 14-year hiatus, Security Forces teams from Air Force major commands, Great Britain and Germany will compete at Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis, Texas, Sept. 10-13.


“This brings back camaraderie and competition,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Alexis Rice, Air Combat Command Directorate of Logistics Engineering and Force Protection NCO in charge of mission assurance. “You put your best against my best and let’s see who’s going to win.”


With guidance from ACC, Airmen underwent local assessments at their home bases before the victors at that platform advanced with the opportunity to try out for the ACC team.


“The most challenging part for me was meeting everybody and not knowing their tactics, where they come from, how they train, what they know and what they don’t know,” said Senior Airman Jeffrey Lewis, 822nd Base Defense Squadron fire team leader. “Learning from them and seeing what they had to offer worked out really well, we all clicked and had a really good time.”


Rice placed the candidates in realistic weapons scenarios, simulated dismounted operations and grueling combat endurance events during the week-long event.


“Selecting the team was very difficult, the candidates made it very hard,” Rice said. “If I could add one more, there would be one more. That’s how close it was to making the cut and not making the team.”


During the tryout, Rice heavily weighed the Airmen’s ability to think outside the box and be a team leader, but when necessary be a good follower. One member might have skills that the other may not have, giving each candidate moments to lead and follow, according to skillsets.


“These guys are in shape, I put them through the wringer and I know they can shoot and think outside the box,” Rice said. “I think they’ve got a very good chance of bringing that hardware back to ACC.”


Great Britain has held the trophy since winning the last competition in 2004. After competing in realistic weapons scenarios, simulated dismounted operations and combat endurance events, the team with the most combined points will win the Sadler Cup, which is named after Maj. Gen. Thomas Sadler, who served as Air Force Chief of Security Police from 1975-1977.