5th CCG builds morale, hones skills in newly named Group Challenge Day

  • Published
  • By Holly Birchfield
  • 78th ABW/PA
About 400 Airmen in the 5th Combat Communications Group faced off in the group's 5th Group Challenge Day bright and early at the unit's training site Feb. 23.

The event, which has been held yearly as the Gator Challenge, included sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, a relay race consisting of a litter carry and a field strip and reassembly of an M-16A2. The day also included a Deuce (2.5 ton truck) obstacle course run and a game of tug-of-war.

Second Lt. Alan Fraser, a 5th CCG unit public affairs representative and acting Mission Systems Flight commander in the 54th Combat Communications Squadron, said the quarterly challenge is a good way for everyone in the group to sharpen their skills and have a little fun in the process.

"The challenge helps our Airmen maintain their knowledge of our mission," he said. "It also increases espirit de corps and gives us an opportunity to have good, healthy competition among our people."

Staff Sgt. Antwaun Flowers, a Voice Network Systems apprentice in the 52nd Combat Communications Squadron whose eight-member team battled against other squadron members in the tug-of-war portion of the challenge, said he had a good time.

"It was fun," he said. "It was a little bit of a challenge. It built competitiveness between the squadrons in a positive way."

Sergeant Flowers said the challenge gave him the chance to get to know people better.

"There was a lot of team building, team bonding," he said. "You got to work in a different environment with people from other work centers. You were able to participate and have some fun and talk on a different level with people who work outside of your building or your work center."

Col. Carl Block, 5th CCG commander, said the 5th Challenge Day was a great way to bring his Airmen together.

"The PT (physical training) event was the result of our brilliant Airmen working to constantly improve the various ways we maintain and enhance readiness in the 5th Combat Communications Group," he said. "I am very proud of how our Airmen work to constantly improve the unit."

Lieutenant Fraser said the mini-version of the larger scale Gator Challenge is not a permanent fixture for the group. He said 5th CCG leaders are still considering the quarterly event's fate with the unit.