FORT BENNING, Ga. - The six-man scout squad with the 42nd Brigade Reconnaissance Company Royal Netherlands Army won the Gainey Cup Best Scout Competition May 5, marking the first time an allied partner earned the distinction.
“We are honored to be the first allied partner scout squad to win the Gainey Cup. It was a great experience to train with other nations,” said Lt. Tristan Leyting, a squad leader with the 42nd Brigade Reconnaissance Company Royal Netherlands Army. “You can learn a lot from each other. Everyone does (scout tasks) a little different, and when you combine interoperability and training, you have a winning team.”
The Gainey Cup is a biennial event hosted by the U.S. Army Armor School, part of Fort Benning’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, and is packed with events that are some of the most physically demanding and mentally tough challenges any cavalry scout can face in an Army competition.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. William Gainey, the namesake of the competition, believes the Gainey Cup competition builds team adhesion.
“Esprit de corps is important to (many) of us,” Gainey said. “What you see here this week with these fellows, this group of Soldiers, they did not know each other [and they] came together at (Fort Benning) as one team.”
The competition promotes camaraderie among the scouting community, identifies the top scout squad, and fosters a culture of interoperability with ally and partner nation's scout teams.
Cavalry scouts applied their technical knowledge through a doctrinal knowledge test, an enemy vehicle identification test, and gunnery skills test on weapons and vehicle platforms. The competition focused on conducting multiple events, including route reconnaissance, land navigation, medical lane, obstacle course, weapons lane, communications lane, and call for fire.
Squads then deployed to the field for a series of missions that tested the scouts’ physical and mental ability to conduct reconnaissance and security operations.
“You all truly represent the best in the international community in a cavalry organization [as] experts in reconnaissance and security. This week has been the cumulation of a month of training and preparations, and you all performed exceptionally well,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas Feltey, U.S. Army Armor School commandant. “Everyone was giving it everything you have. That’s the spirit of our American Soldiers, the spirit of our international partners, and the spirit it will take to win.”
For more photos of the competition, visit the Armor Week gallery.