Commander’s Challenge to build resilience at Wright-Patt

Everyone at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is invited to strengthen bonds, test athletic skills and build resilience during an inaugural Commander’s Challenge May 10, one of two designated Wingman Days this year.

The day of fun and challenge will be hosted by Col. Bradley McDonald, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander. Events will be held on both Areas A and B, with a midday break for a Commander’s Challenge barbecue, served near Jarvis Fitness Center and coordinated by the 88 ABW chaplain staff. PT gear is uniform of the day.

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Military members, including all service branches and Guard and Reserve, civilians and contractors (contract permitting) are encouraged, pending supervisory approval, to form teams from groups, units and squadrons, with points awarded to the winners of the individual and team athletic and sporting events. The ultimate winning team will be awarded a traveling trophy and bragging rights.

Any 88 ABW personnel not competing or cheering are expected to consider May 10 a regular work day. It is approved as an alternate duty location for wing personnel.

The events below are scheduled from 7:30 to 4 p.m.:

• 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. – Commander’s Choice

• 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. – Safety briefing, Jarvis (team competition times delivered then, individual competitions will occur at will)

• 9 to 11 a.m. – Commander’s Challenge

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Commander’s Challenge hamburger and fixings barbecue, near Jarvis

• 2 to 3:30 p.m. – Tugs-of-war and tug-of-war finale, Jarvis

• 3:30 to 4 p.m. – Trophy presentation, Jarvis

Area A events will include:

Dodgeball (Dodge Fitness Center)

Volleyball (Jarvis)

Ultimate Frisbee (Jarvis)

Swimming Relay (Dodge)

Log Rolling (Dodge pool)

Bowling (Bowling Center, Kittyhawk Center)

Golf Challenge (Skeel driving range)

Hula Hoop Contest (Jarvis track)

Tricycle Relay (Jarvis track)

Humvee Push (Jarvis track)

Tug-of-War (Jarvis track)

3-Legged Race (Jarvis track)

Area B events will include:

Kickball (softball fields)

3-on-3 Basketball (Wright Field Fitness Center)

Wallyball (Wright Field)

Soccer (softball fields)

“The day’s activities will support the four domains of resiliency: spiritual, mental, social and physical,” said Mary Devitt, 88 ABW community support coordinator. “It’s team building, and we want as many people as possible to participate.”

The field day will yield a lot of fun and light-hearted competition, she said.

“The reason we do this is to build connectedness and camaraderie and make the base ‘smaller’,” Devitt said. “There are a lot of entities on the base, and we want to see everyone involved in one activity while coming together and having fun. Part of resiliency is taking time for yourself and having fun.

“It will be wonderful to get outside and away from our desks while building rapport with one another. The more people who participate will make it more likely that we will hold these activities again,” she added.

Staff Sgt. Whitney Trimble of 88 ABW Public Affairs, experienced several Commander’s Challenges while stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, from April 2011 to August 2017. The event was organized by Devitt, who served as CSC for five years at Ramstein. Devitt arrived at Wright-Patterson AFB last October.

“I was able to see a Commander’s Challenge from its inception to last year, and watched it grow from an idea into a base-wide activity that is not rank-specific and really promotes teamwork, unity and good, old-fashioned sportsmanship,” Trimble said.

She pointed to the Humvee push/pull as a particularly enjoyable aspect of the day. During one of Ramstein’s Commander’s Challenges, she saw a team that was not doing well get an assist from other teams.

“You see people with different backgrounds and experiences. You have teams with people who have never deployed mixing with teams who have deployed multiple times; you have athletes and non-athletes,” Trimble said. “It’s really an inclusive event, and you’ll see what makes up the Air Force and Team Wright-Patt.”

Volunteers throughout the base are coordinating the events. Devitt credited the 88th Force Support Squadron, 88th Communications Squadron and points of contact at the base fitness centers with being especially helpful.

To register a team, go online to 88abw.communitysupport@us.af.mil. More information will be coming in the near future.

For more information, contact Devitt at mary.devitt@us.af.mil.

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