419th reservists train for elite NATO competition

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Four reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing are training to be selected to compete in the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers Military Competition to take place August 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Maj. Mark Eilertsen, Capt. Sterling Broadhead, Capt. Juan Cabrera, and 1st Lt. Cory Bobo hope to compete in this year’s competition, which tests and trains reservists in various branches of the military from across the world. It is made up of three-man teams and will have five different events: marksmanship, a land obstacle course, a water obstacle course, land navigation, and hand grenade throwing.

Participants are chosen based on physical fitness test scores, marksmanship abilities, and overall fitness standards.

“It’s an intense competition and is going to take a lot of training and dedication,” said Broadhead, 419th FW executive officer. “So I’m trying to find some really good athletes who are dedicated, can make the team, and leave a legacy here at Hill.”

The week-long team selection starts the beginning of July 2017 in Vermont. After the selection process, the selected team members will travel to Austria for training before competing in Prague.

“Last year I competed in the novice category and learned that I am very weak in orienteering,” Broadhead said. “I didn’t really know what I was doing and I mostly learned as I went. So my goal this year is to train these guys with a local orienteering club so it becomes one of our strengths this year.”

If selected, the officers will have the honor of being some of the few reservists representing the United States in the competition.

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