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GC teams come home to celebrate

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Guardian challenge 2006 has come to a close with the 30th Space Wing taking two out of three Air Force Space Command titles for the Schriever Trophy, best security forces and best spacelift operations teams. 

The long awaited results were posted during the awards banquet at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Aug. 17. 

The 30th Security Forces Squadron had three events during the competition. 

The tactics portion consisted of the team of four being dropped behind "enemy lines." The team had to secure a "classified" package and bring it to a rendezvous point in less then 24 minutes, said Capt. Kathy Jordan, tactics head evaluator. They were attacked by several simulated aggressors and had to display proper techniques while going through the 1/2 mile roped-off area. 

The second task was the marksmanship challenge. The team had to shoot a 9 mm, M-4 and M-203 at various targets to collect the most points. During the 9 mm competition each individual on the team had a chance to hit 37 targets at distances up to 25 meters within 2 minutes. 

The final task was the two-mile obstacle course. During the course the team had more then 10 stations and a 9/10 of a mile run that tested their strength, balance and endurance. 

"We kicked butt," said Staff Sgt. Javier Mendez, 30th SFS Guardian Challenge competitor. "All our training and hard work paid off; we were on target and on time." 

The members of the team were Staff Sgt. Javier Mendez, Staff Sgt. Gary Morgan, Airman 1st Class Wilson Yabut and Senior Airman Nathan Wyckoff. 

The 30th SFS beat out nine other AFSPC security forces teams during this year's Guardian Challenge. 

The Best Spacelift Operations Crew title went to the 30th Operations Group team, which consisted of Capt. Carl Driver, 1st Lt. Dave Rodriquez, 1st Lt. Lysa Stern, Staff Sgt. Derrick Russell and Rick Sportsman. 

The crew competed in May, but results were held until the awards banquet last week. 

The range team was given approximately two hours to execute a spacelift operation. The test included anomalies, mishaps and other operational snags that tried to prevent the team from having a successful mission. 

The 30th OG team was triumphant in defeating the 45th Space Wing from Patrick AFB, Fla. 

"I felt euphoria when they announced us as the winners," said Captain Driver, 30th OG Guardian Challenge team leader. "It felt great to finally see that all the hard work from the competitors and instructors paid off. 

"I knew we would be hard to beat," he added. 

The 76th Helicopter Squadron and 30th Launch Group also competed in Guardian Challenge 2006. 

The chanting and cheering was deafening coming from Hanger 140 at Peterson AFB on awards night. 

"All of the members of the Guardian Challenge team are winners," said Col. Jack Weinstein, 30th Space Wing commander. "And I see it every day as our space professionals execute launch, range and expeditionary missions."