8th SFS takes first at PACAF competition
By Staff Sgt. Mackenzie Mendez, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 08, 2019
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
A team of 8th Security Forces Squadron defenders took first place, during Pacific Air Forces’ Advanced Combat Skills Assessment competition at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, June 24 to 28.
The 8th SFS team competed against 10 teams of PACAF’s top defenders. Over the week, the 11 teams competed in numerous events that challenged the defenders’ mental and physical fortitude including hand-to-hand combatives, marksmanship, range estimation, physical fitness, land navigation and building clearing tactics.
“The competition challenges security forces members to come together, use everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and form one efficient and effective team,” said Staff Sgt. Charles Murray, 8th SFS 2019 ACSA team member. “It was fantastic to see security forces from all around the Pacific, from different backgrounds and experiences in the competitive spirit, challenging each other to improve.”
For a month leading up to the competition, Wolf Pack defenders trained daily and honed their physical fitness, law enforcement and deployment skills in preparation for the weeklong competition.
“The biggest challenge throughout the training was pushing through the mental and physical barriers,” said Murray. “Our coach, Staff. Sgt. Gomez, was invaluable throughout the training and the competition. He showed us that through teamwork we can achieve a common goal and accomplish the mission.”
The training prepared the five-person team for the competition and sharpened their real-world tactical knowledge, essential for every security forces member whether deployed or stationed overseas.
“The training helped the team improve on skills used in their everyday operations, including firing, physical fitness and tactics,” said Staff Sgt. Oscar Gomez, 8th SFS 2019 ACSA team coach. “These skills are of the utmost importance because first and foremost, we are first responders.”
In addition to bringing home the top team trophy, they also placed first in three of the five events, including the mental and physical challenge, combat weapons and the combat fitness challenge.
“While they were the ones that put in the blood, sweat and tears, their victory ends up being one celebrated by the entire squadron,” said Lt. Col. Eric Horst, 8th SFS commander. “Any time any of our personnel rise to these types of challenges, they do so as a representative of the squadron. This time they did an exceptional job showcasing what the 8th Security Forces Squadron is all about.”