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Monster mash goes base-wide

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash., -- The entire base got a taste of just what the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron goes through on a routine basis Thursday.

It was all part of Monster Mash -- a 6-mile run interlaced with multiple physical and mental challenges through the southern-most section of McChord.

While members of the 22nd STS have been running the event in the squadron for years, they adapted the event so that all the squadrons on base could participate, said Capt. James, 22nd STS.

"The event is designed to be a team building and physical training event with challenges taken straight from the Airman's Manual," Captain James said.

The course started at the billeting station, ran down Pitsenbarger Boulevard, through a back trail in a wooded area near the flightline and then back up Pitsenbarger. Seven squadrons on base had teams who competed in the event.

"With the transition to more of an expeditionary Air Force, Airmen are finding themselves doing things on the battlefield they aren't used to," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey, 22nd STS commander.

"The wing thought this was a good way for Airmen to test their expeditionary skills through a competition."

The challenges testing each team's combat skills were a complete surprise to the competitors,
Captain James said. "All the events were teamwork based," he said.

"It was all about how each team prepared for the entire event." The Humvee push, log carrying drill and memory recollection challenges tested each team's ability to think under pressure while getting a workout that simulated battlefield conditions, said Colonel Jeffrey.

"It's about gamesmanship and how they adapt when they are stressed," he said. Each squadron that participated in the event also had a member of the 22nd STS on hand who could also be used as another body during one of the challenges.

"That's where the strategy part of it comes in," Captain James said. There was also a focus on this Monster Mash toward looking at it as a possible Rodeo event, said Colonel Jeffrey.

"We would like to use it as a shock and awe for teams when they come in for Rodeo," Captain James said.