162nd Combat Communications Group accepts challenge from AFSPC

Staff Sgt. Paul Ballard, Chief Master Sgt. Stan Walker, Master Sgt. Alfphonso Ring and Staff Sgt. Steven Sandoval 162nd Combat Communications Group's Guardian Challenge Combat Challenge train to assemble a temper tent recently, the training had to move inside due to rare San Diego rain.  (US Air Force photo)

Staff Sgt. Paul Ballard, Chief Master Sgt. Stan Walker, Master Sgt. Alfphonso Ring and Staff Sgt. Steven Sandoval 162nd Combat Communications Group's Guardian Challenge Combat Challenge team train to assemble a temper tent recently, the training had to move inside due to rare San Diego rain. (US Air Force photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The 162nd Combat Communications Group accepted an invitation from Air Force Space Command and 689th Combat Communications Wing to participate in Guardian Challenge 2010. Specifically, the 162nd CCG, an Air National Guard unit, will compete at Tinker AFB, Okla. in a resurrection of the Combat Challenge competition April 17-19.

An event well known to the 162nd CCG, Combat Challenge began in 1986 at Patrick AFB, Fla. as a worldwide competition to crown the best combat communications group in the Air Force. Active duty and Air National Guard CCGs competed in events encompassing tent assembly, camouflage of three 2.5 ton trucks, air traffic control skills, 1.5 mile run, physical appearance, pallet build up, satellite antenna assembly and weapons firing. The signature event was installation and sustainment of tactical communications systems.

In mid-April 2010, the 162nd CCG will endeavor to equal their 1986 overall finish. Placing no lower than third in any event, the 162nd CCG shocked and dominated the competition to claim the inaugural Combat Challenge trophy and title of the Best Combat Communications Group in the Air Force. Not bad for a bunch of Guard guys and gals.

The seven event 2010 competition will again showcase installation and sustainment of tactical communications systems. Although technology has changed considerably over two decades, the goal to provide customers with reliable communications services is paramount. Other events include challenges in marksmanship, physical fitness, tent assembly, team tactics, Airman's Manual and self-aid buddy care, and force-on-force capture the flag.

The 162nd CCG will practiced in San Diego, Calif. during their March weekend drill and will again travel to San Diego for the April weekend drill prior to participating in the event. Although heavy underdogs, the team is upbeat and ready to perform long hours in preparation for the challenge to prove the Air National Guard remains ready, reliable, and relevant.

And, then there's that trophy just waiting for a home in sunny California. Go get 'em guys!