Cadets test their mettle on Sill's training course
Teams of ROTC cadets from universities all over Arkansas and Oklahoma got a workout on Fort Sill's training facilities as they competed in their annual Ranger Challenge here Saturday.
Fort Sill's 75th Fires Brigade, commanded by Col. Daniel Najera, was the University of Oklahoma ROTC program's partner in hosting the competition, said OU Maj. David Price, officer in charge of the event.
"They coordinated and got all the training areas for us. They provided equipment, tents, radios and weapons. That really helped out," Price said.
The 75th also presented awards at a ceremony Saturday evening. After the opening ceremony Friday evening, the approximately 250 cadets participating in the Ranger Challenge bivouacked at Training Area 67 by the Combat Obstacle Course on the East Range. That allowed them to start off at daybreak Saturday.
Retired Master Sgt. Harry Howery, an ROTC instructor at OU, was here to conduct a lane called the One-Rope Bridge.
"The event is a simulation of a river crossing. They have to cross a water obstacle, and they construct a one-rope bridge between two fixed objects, and they have to cross their entire team safely across the obstacle without losing any equipment," Howery explained.
The squad completing the task with the best time wins. One OU team finished in 8:05, for example, but two penalties raised its time to 8:25. Tim Durham, a contractor from Arkansas State University, explained that they still had a knot in the rope when they completed the event and they failed to properly secure the far-side rope.