Valiant Eagle builds knowledge through competition in 2014
By MSgt Jaclyn Lyons, 125th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 17, 2014
Jacksonville, Fla. -- Once a year, the Airmen of the 125th Fighter Wing put aside their daily tasks and concentrate on career field and combat skills training. The combat skills training enables members to experience aspects of other career fields all while drumming up some healthy competition amongst the squadrons.
"The intent of Valiant Eagle is to get our Airmen engaged in combat skills competitions, said Lt. Justin Phillips, Valiant Eagle's coordinator. "As training takes the form of competition we are able to incite unit pride, while increasing combat readiness."
This year, there were seven wing-wide competitions ranging from self-aid buddy care, security forces cover and concealment, a fireman obstacle challenge and a CBRNE Amazing Race. Airmen teamed up with fellow squadron members in an effort to bring home the Wing's 2014 Top Squadron Trophy.
Tech. Sgt. Sheena Wingo usually works in the Command Post on base, in a secure environment behind locked doors. Through this event she was able to try her hand at something new.
"I liked participating in the variety of events and challenging myself in various situations," TSgt Wingo said. "It isn't about winning or losing, it's about getting out and having fun with other people from around base while practicing skills you may not normally use."
The goal of the event is not only to encourage competition and comradery throughout the base, but to also provide a fun training atmosphere where Airman can learn from one another and complete yearly training requirements.
The Munitions Flight used the training events as a chance for the more experienced Airmen to share their knowledge with younger Airmen. The three days of training included nearly 30 competitons with over 300 airmen competing.
"We live and work in our own little world down here and getting to participate and compete with our co-workers was a blast," said Senior Master Sgt. James Jacola, Munitions Materials Superintendent.
Whether it's getting shot at by simunitions or learning a new tip from and old pro, Valiant Eagle is proving to be a worthwhile annual training tradition for the 125th Fighter Wing.