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Dec 2, 2016

Coast Guard continues search for best warrior

The Coastguard Best Warrior Competition continued today; the third and final day turned out to be the most grueling. Coastguard officers were up bright and early to test their endurance and marksmanship skills. But it was the last round of competition that really took the officers to the breaking point. News Five’s Duane Moody has an update.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Day three of the Coastguard Best Warrior Competition is where the officers are put to through the most rigorous of all challenges. As with the past two days, there are two hurdles that the forty-eight participants will have to undertake; the first started as early as six-thirty this morning. The six teams: sector south, sector north, central, seals, headquarters and engineers dressed in full gear, including forty-pound body armor, firearm and helmet would trot some nine miles from the Burrell Boom Bridge along the circuit and end at the Belize Defense Force Shooting Range located a mile off the main thoroughfare just after the Central Prison. They immediately load up and get ready to showcase their marksmanship skills.

 

John Borland, Commander, Belize National Coast Guard

John Borland

“We saw some really good march times, we had a team that did it just over two hours—two hours, two minutes—for nine miles with a forty-pound burden; that’s quite remarkable. And then they got to the Hattieville range and now we are shooting the falling plate competition. As you saw, there are fourteen plates up there on the mantle. Those plates are two hundred and twenty-five yards away; they are ten by ten in size…a little smaller than the average human torso. And to actively engage those after you’ve done two hours and fifteen—two hours and a half on the road—it’s not very easy. So one might want to question well what about the marksmanship…but what I’ve so far is that it is better than average.”

 

From two hundred and twenty-five yards away, the men must hit fourteen metal targets at a distance. The maximum plates were taken down by the seals; among its members is Class Three Petty Officer Carl Borland, who recently returned in October from an eight-month marksmanship training in Mexico. He came out on top in that course for his precision in shooting at long range targets.

 

Petty Officer III Carl Borland

Petty Officer III Carl Borland, Seals Team

“When you are doing training you just put in your all and apply all the fundamentals of shooting and when you come out here you just do your best and try to make your best shots. My teammates depend on me a lot because right now I am one of the best rifle shooters and they looked to me to take down all the plates and I do my best to do that.”

 

Duane Moody

“How many did you take down?”

 

Petty Officer III Carl Borland

“Out of the eleven that we took down today, I’d say like five.”

 

But all is not over for the participants because within hours, the final leg of the competition, the Crucible, is yet to be overcome. Like the name implies, Coastguard Commander John Borland says that it is a beast of a competition.

 

John Borland

“As I said on the first day, it keeps getting harder and harder; that’s the cross fit competition and it’s gonna take these men to the breaking point. Again there is a two hundred meter tire flip and then they have a four hundred meter chain carry and the chain is over three hundred pounds and eight men have to carry that burden. And then they put down that chain and they grab two ten feet logs and each of these logs is again over two hundred pounds; four men on each log and they have to go four hundred meters with that. And then they finish up having to do the dreaded Coastguard Obstacle Course all over again.”

 

Commander Borland says that the Best Warriors Competition is a testament of the strength of the coastguard.

 

John Borland

“The coastguard realizes that listen we are small in number, but we have to be on par and even supersede or excel the standards set by anyone else. If you are small, you have to have a serious sting; you have to have a potent punch. And that is what we try to do. And it is our bread and butter; day in, day out, this is what we get paid for.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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