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Nov 24, 2015

Coastguard’s Best Warrior 2015 is Chosen

The Belize Coastguard held its annual strong man competition over the weekend at different locations. Three days of grueling competition tested the physical fitness of the officers stretching their skills to the max. Five teams comprising forty officers took part in the most competitive challenges to assess their readiness for combat. It ended on Sunday at the Coast Guard training camp in Ladyville with perhaps the most challenging obstacles. Duane Moody was there and has the following report. 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

After three intense days and various rounds of competitions taken over the weekend by forty officers attached to Belize’s naval army, Fleet One takes retains its title in the Coastguard Best Warrior Competition. Since Friday, elite Coast Guard officers competed against each other in five groups of eight in six different challenges—some of the most physical tasks and obstacle courses that test their endurance and battle readiness. Commander John Borland of the Coast Guard:

 

John Borland

John Borland, Commander, Belize National Coast Guard

“The competition came about as a result of what we used to do, an individual competition dubbed the Coast Guard Iron Man Competition, but that was an individual competition. As the force grew, as the standard of training got better, as the men got bigger and stronger, we saw the need for a bigger and better competition. A competition that would bring out the best of not only the coast guard, but our sister forces—the biggest, the baddest, the fiercest, the better trained, the best prepared warriors that we would develop for combat situations.”

 

Five teams—the Seals, the Engineers, the Recruits, the Fleet and the Special Warfare Combating Crew—were all in the race to capture the coveted title. By day two, the defending champion, the Fleet, was leading by twenty points with the Seals close behind. After individually making a ten-lap swim at the Belize Defense Force pool at Prince Barracks, the groups would then do a one mile run before taking on an obstacle course never seen before.

 

Flipping, scaling various vaults, throwing their bodies over bars, and even climbing up a rope, the officers visibly exhausted demonstrated immense strength to complete the course. Commander Borland says that it builds camaraderie between the officers.

 

John Borland

“It’s a squad level competition to be honest with you. These men perform in squads of eight because eight is the basic element in which we are expected to fight and one man can’t fight the battle, one man can’t fight the war; he’s got to fight as a team. So team spirit, team effort, team work is huge here. It tests leadership, it test camaraderie; it tests working as a well oiled unit, a well working machine.”

 

Day-two ended with another round of physical competition at Coast Guard headquarters on the George Price Highway where the officers were again tested on their endurance and physical skills.

 

On Sunday, which was day-three of the competition, the forty competitors dressed in full military fatigue trekked nine miles from the Boom Bridge to the Shooting Range in Hattieville for a test of marksmanship.

 

John Borland

“The events this morning started with the march and shoot competition where we did a nine mile march in full combat equipment culminating with the shoot when we got to the range. We had some extremely good march times and some great shooting as well. The Coast Guard Seal team emerged as the winners of that particular evolution. They continued to trail in second place.”

 

By afternoon, the final challenge was before them. The most difficult of them all, the crucible would indeed test the officers to their limits. After scaling some obstacles and the bars, the men had to flip and drag huge tires before carrying logs and heavy chains on their shoulders. This obstacle course also ended with a rope climb. But after all the numbers were tallied, the defending champions, Fleet One Team came out on top and retained their title as Best Warriors.

 

Greg Soberanis

Lt. Greg Soberanis, Team Leader, Fleet One

“We’ve been working hard for the past three days. We’ve kept grinding, kept moving forward and the training the effort the dedication paid off for us today. It’s all about understanding the capabilities of the members of the team—what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, and we were able to strike that balance with the members of the team. So we had a well-balanced team; a team that was physically and mentally strong and at the end of the day, we overcame the other team that was very good by the way.”

 

Coming out top for day-three were the Seals, but overall, they lost to Fleet One by thirty points.

 

Baron Ellis

Ensign Baron Ellis, Team Leader, Seals

“It was tough, it was tough. I saw some of my guys being pushed to the breaking point. But maybe we miscalculated at the first couple days, but we gave it our all. We came in first for both events today. But like I said, maybe the calculations were wrong and we kinda underestimated some people.”

 

Petty Officer Tyler Swaso, Seals Team

“The hardest part of the competition was really today because you have to give it yo all. The first and second day, you give it all yo have, but the third day is where it matters. So today was the hardest day for me. To me the cross fit because this morning for the march and shoot, I already knew that we had the shoot on lock. The march we had that on lock—no matter the time we come in. but the cross-fit honestly.”

 

Tyler Swaso

Duane Moody

“So would you do it again?”

 

Petty Officer Tyler Swaso

“Definitely, next year. Next year first place.”

 

All teams will be awarded in December at the annual Christmas Luncheon held for the officers. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Taking third place were the recruits with four hundred and eighty points, followed by the Engineers in fourth place and the Special Warfare Combating Crew in fifth. 

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