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PACAF wins Air Force Defender Challenge

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKAND, Texas (AFNS) -- The U.S. Pacific Air Forces Command came out on top among 14 international security forces teams to win the Air Force Defender Challenge Championship Sept. 10-13 at Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis, Texas.

In taking the coveted Defender Challenge Championship Trophy, PACAF totaled the most combined points in the contest in which international security forces teams went head-to-head in several events, including realistic weapons scenarios, simulated dismounted operations and combat endurance.

The Defender Challenge competition included 14 four-person security forces teams, 12 from U.S. Air Force major commands, one from the Great Britain Royal Air Force and one from the German Air Force.

Brig. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Air Force Director of Security Forces, presented the trophy to the winning PACAF team during an awards ceremony at JBSA-Camp Bullis Sept. 13, the last day of the Defender Challenge.

The PACAF team won the Defender Challenge by taking first in the weapons competition and placing second in the dismounted operations challenge.
Air Combat Command finished in second place and in third, Air Force Material Command.

By winning the weapons competition, PACAF displayed the highest marksmanship skills of all teams in that category and was presented with the Coleman Cup, named after Brig. Gen. Richard Coleman, former Air Force Security Forces Center director of security forces and commander from 1997 to 2000. The ACC team took second in the weapons competition followed by the Air Force Space Command in third.

The Air Mobility Command won the Sadler Cup, the award that is presented to the top team in the dismounted operations challenge. Rounding out the competition in the dismounted operations challenge was PACAF, second, and Air National Guard, third.

In the grueling combat endurance event, the German Air Force came out on top followed by ACC, second, and AMC, third.

Other awards include the Top Shot, which is presented to the top three security forces members who have been recognized for mastering vital marksmanship skills. First place winner was Staff Sgt. Benjamin Rodriguez, Air Force District of Washington; Senior Airman David Hightower, Air Education and Training Command, second; and Airman Ist Class Curtis Covington, PACAF.

The Outstanding Defender award was presented to Lance Cpl. Adam Butler, Royal Air Force Regiment. The award recognizes a security forces defender who has demonstrated exceptional leadership throughout the competition from their peers, who nominate the servicemember, and a panel of chiefs.

The Defender Challenge event returned this year after a 14-year hiatus. Great Britain had held the trophy after winning the last Defender Challenge in 2004.

The Defender Challenge traces its origins to more than 37 years ago when Headquarters Air Force Office of Security Police first held the international defender’s competition, according to Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center at JBSA-Lackland.