CAMP NOVO SELO, Kosovo - Soldiers with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 29th Infantry Division, Kentucky National Guard, competed in the Great Britain “Charge of the Light Brigade” team gun run, March 19. The event was hosted by “The Royal Lancers” of Great Britain.
The “Charge of the Light Brigade” team gun run is a physical training competition in which teams of six go through six events carrying various objects while running six 400-meter laps.
“The Royal Lancers Gun Run tested our teamwork, communication and intestinal fortitude in order to simulate maneuvering a heavy weapon system to close with and destroy the enemy,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Metzgar, a platoon leader with Charlie Co., and the team captain.
The competition stressed fitness, teamwork and communication. For their first lap, Soldiers ran with their helmets on before arriving back at the starting point. Once there, the team retrieved their first object, a large truck tire, and completed their lap. This is done a second time with a second tire. After that, the team retrieved four medicine balls of various weights and colors, and they completed their lap. On the next lap, the Soldiers retrieved a telephone pole to complete their lap. For the final lap, Soldiers retrieved a 50-gallon barrel and completed their lap.
After the Soldiers completed their laps with their objects, they began to construct a simulated cannon. This event stresses teamwork and communication between the Soldiers. Upon completion of this task, the Soldiers moved to a mini-game.
During this part of the competition, the Soldiers were tasked with heaving a large medicine ball at a standing tire to spin the tire 360 degrees. This portion of the competition focused on strength and communication by having one Soldier direct the other where to strike the tire. This proved to be difficult as the tire had to remain standing while completing the 360 degrees of rotation. Failing to complete the task in 60-seconds resulted in a 12-second penalty added to their time.
Following that event, Soldiers were tasked with thrusting a 10-pound medicine ball 5 meters from the seated position while their back remained in contact with a wall. This test of strength was completed by all six team members. Any Soldier failing to reach the 5-meter mark resulted in a 2-second penalty.
“There was little strategy this morning. However, we put together a team of hard-working Soldiers, worked together, and ultimately got the job done,” Metzgar said.
The 18 teams represented more than 10 countries taking part in the competition. The Soldiers of Charlie Co. completed the event in 23 minutes and 33 seconds, earning a fifth-place finish.
“This was a competition of not just fitness, but of teamwork and communication,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Will Long, command sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment. “These guys really showed what it is like to be a Mountain Warrior. Placing fifth out of 18 teams, besting one of the host nation’s teams, is not a small feat on 7-days’ notice, and with no knowledge of what the events were. I feel that if they had known what the events were and were able to prepare accordingly, they would have easily won the competition.”
U.S. National Guard Soldiers from Kentucky currently represent a portion of the U.S.' contribution toward the 3,600 troops provided to KFOR by 28 countries working towards maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo.
Learn more about KFOR at: https://jfcnaples.nato.int/kfor
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