By Staff Sgt. Christina TurnipseedAugust 14, 2014
HOHENFELS, Germany - An Army cadet and a sergeant show visible signs of strain on their sweat-streaked faces as they flip a super-sized tire during the 527th Military Police Company Mogadishu Mile July 23rd in Hohenfels, Germany.
Cadet Dane Hopkins, an Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps( ROTC) cadet and a native of St. Joseph, Missouri; Sgt. Nicholas Middleton, 527th MP Co. mechanic and native of St. Stephen, South Carolina. and Spc. Sara Terrell, 527th MP Co. mechanic and a native of Blairstown, New Jersey, made up one of four teams that participated in the day-and-a- half contest.
Competitors took a history test the night before the main event evaluating their knowledge of the original Mogadishu Mile.
The next day started at 3 a.m. with a physical fitness test in which each member of the teams had to perform timed pushups, sit-ups, run two miles while wearing a gas mask and climb a rope in full body armor.
The Mogadishu Mile is the route run by U.S. Army Rangers and Delta Force Soldiers from a helicopter crash site to an appointed rally point held by the 10th Mountain Division on National Street in Somalia during the Battle of Mogadishu on Oct. 4, 1993.
The Mogadishu Mile in Hohenfels is roughly 12 miles in length with several stations along the way like for participants to, evaluate a casualty, throw grenades, assemble weapons wearing night vision goggles in the dark and others.
The event is designed not only to commemorate the sacrifices of the first service members to navigate the Mogadishu Mile in Somalia, but to allow Soldiers to compete using and improving basic Army skills.
"All of the tasks are skill level one," said Capt. Tide Gile, 527th MP Company. commander and a native of Plymouth, Wisconsin. "It gives the teams the opportunity to use what they do know and to identify the skills they need to work on."
The Soldiers marched in full body armor with a M4 rifle and a weighted ruck sack from station to station.
"The ruck march was an exercise that got their blood flowing before they stopped to execute a skill level one task to time," said Staff Sgt. Arin Anderson, who planned the competition and is a native of Twin Peaks, California.
Terrell and other competitors found the ruck marching between stations to be particularly challenging.
"Once you stopped rucking, you had to go right into an exercise," explained Terrell, "But the hardest part was having to put the ruck-sack back on."
According to Anderson, the Soldiers were evaluated on a point scale to determine the winners.
The winners-- Sgt. Donald Heavener, Spc. Esteban Vazquez, and Pfc. Ariel Galvan-- received the Army Achievement Medal.