By Staff Sgt. Cody HardingJune 10, 2013
CAMP SLIM LINES, Kosovo - Members of Kosovo Force 17's Joint Regional Detachment - East competed alongside multinational coys as a part of a competition hosted by the Portuguese Coy in celebration of Portugal's National Day at Camp Slim Lines June 8.
Though the Portuguese National Day is June 10, the Portuguese Coy decided to hold the event on a Saturday so as not to interfere with the missions of the various agencies and coys that were invited to attend.
The JRD-E team was one of 15 teams that competed, ranging from the KFOR Liaison Officer team, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, or EULEX, team and multinational coys from across Kosovo.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ruben Cruz, a member of the JRD-E team, said working both with and against the multinational coys was a good thing not just for his team, but for KFOR.
"It builds camaraderie, and it supports everything that we're doing right now," Cruz, a native of Arecibo, Puerto Rico said. "Working together, one team one fight. We do everything together, and that's how we're going to be successful in Kosovo."
The teams were given six tasks set at stations across the camp that they needed to pass in order to proceed onward. The events ranged from familiar obstacles, like navigating a notional minefield with improvised materials, to assembling a puzzle at the top of a "slide," a fully raised dump truck that had been coated with grease.
Once all the events were completed, competitors were treated to a barbecue, courtesy of the Portuguese Coy, and given the chance to relax after they had crossed the finish line.
Portuguese army Lt. Col. Paolo Cordeiro, the commander of the Portuguese 2nd Paratrooper Battalion and the Portuguese Coy, said the event was designed to bring different members of KFOR together and to help build relationships.
"My intent is to bring some people who are not from this camp to spend time with us for this kind of familiarization," Cordeiro said. "It's also just as important for the commanders as it is for the Soldiers."
After the barbecue came the awards ceremony, from eighth place and up, with a promise from Cordeiro for a dedicated celebration to go along with the official Portuguese National Day Ceremony on June 10.
The Austrian Coy took first place overall, with the EULEX team coming in second. The U.S. Coy won fifth place overall, while JRD-E came out just ahead in fourth place.