Fort Carlson, Colorado —
By U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Lalita Laksbergs, Colorado Army National Guard, 104th Public Affairs Detachment
Six junior enlisted Soldiers and three noncommissioned officers of the Colorado Army National Guard competed in the state Best Warrior Competition April 8-10 on Fort Carson. The event was coordinated through the Centennial Training Site and included testing on locations across the installation.
The three-day competition was developed through the Colorado National Guard Centennial Training Site on Fort Carson and included events such as land navigation, sniper lanes, medevac testing, grenade range, ruck march and obstacle course.
The success of the event was in large part due to the partnership between the Colorado National Guard and Fort Carson according to Lt. Col. Rick Burtt, commander, Centennial Training Site.
"Without the Fort Carson partnership, we would still come to Fort Carson, but we would be disjointed in our approach," said Burtt. "We would have lots of individual units fending for themselves, whereas now we have a central hub to come to and provide access to all the ranges and requirements."
This is the second Colorado National Guard Best Warrior Competition at the Centennial Training Site. The first competition happened in March 2015, immediately after the grand opening of the training facility.
"It's convenient and we don't have to send our Soldiers out of state to do a competition like this," said Command Sgt. Maj. Russ Hamilton, state command sergeant major, Colorado National Guard.
In the past year, the facility has hosted six military competitions to include the ROTC Ranger Challenge, Colorado National Guard Best Warrior Competition (2), U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Best Warrior Competition, and Fort Carson and 4th Infantry Division events (2).
"In the year that we have been open, we have seen units from all three components in the Army come through, along with more than 30 civilian agencies," said Burtt. "We have had more than 22,000 individuals receive training at the Centennial site since its opening."
With more than 726 available beds and 16 classrooms, the facility provides convenient, modern training space for military, first responder and civilian needs.
Additionally, the Centennial Training Site has become a prominent location for National Guard Bureau-sponsored meetings and events to include senior leadership workshops, human resource professional training, and others.
"If it wasn't for Fort Carson and the partnership with the Centennial Training Site, we (National Guard) would be looking to do this in somebody else's state," said Hamilton. "It saves taxpayer dollars and logistically, and it just makes good sense."