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US Army concludes ‘Best Squad’ contest

By Majd Othman

 KUWAIT: The US Army in Kuwait held a “Best Squad Competition” at Camps Arifjan and Buehring from May 6 to 11, 2023, which aims on building teamwork and developing the capabilities of soldiers in a variety of areas such as physical fitness, tactical tasks, problem-solving and using latest technology on the modern battlefield.

The competition included selecting the best 14 teams from across the US Central Command in Kuwait and adopting the strategy of teams confronting against each other in a grueling test of the warriors’ missions and combat training.

Command Sergeant Major Jacinto Garza, Senior Enlisted Advisor at US Army Central, said during a press statement the winning team will be able to participate in the Best Squad Competition of the US armed forces in August. He added the US Central Command is responsible in supporting and managing more than 12,000 troops, including those assigned to joint task forces and embassies, across 21 countries in the US Central Command’s area of responsibility.

Sergeant Major Brian Disque, Army Central Operations for Plans and Training, said this competition is held annually. The purpose of holding this joint competition is to encourage army soldiers and teams to be at their best. Disque revealed a discussion took place between the US Army and the Kuwaiti side for the participation of ground forces, which he described as high-quality training and competitions, stressing the Kuwait Army is a main partner of American forces, in addition to the fact that they are the host country of these forces.

Master Sergeant Donte DeBrow, React to Contact Evaluator, said the teams, before starting their arrangements, receive a report from the team leader mainly to inform them of the maneuvers and how to deal with the target as well as reviewing the attack plan to confront the enemy, pointing out that his duties include evaluating the performance of the soldiers participating in the training, especially regarding their reactions and how they interact with the enemy firing at them. He explained he is also working on evaluating the soldiers’ performance in terms of their progress, obtaining sufficient ammunition and all equipment, and not being injured during training.

The Winner

On Thursday, the US Army held at Camp Arifjan an announcement ceremony for the Best Squad Competition. The winner was Staff Sergeant Joshua Hutchins from Idaho State National Guard and his team. Hutchins also won best NCO (non-commissioned officer). “To the people of Kuwait, as the winner of the best non-commissioned officer of the 2023 Army Central Best Squad Competition, I would say that it is an example of exemplary performance as a non-commissioned officer (sergeant) in the US Army because we need to be experts in our skills as well as professionals and leaders and to know and care for our soldiers,” Hutchins said.

During the ceremony, the highest-ranking Army NCO in the entire region, Command Sergeant Major Garza, said the Best Squad Competition urges the Kuwaiti military to work on building the potential of non-commissioned officers. “We have known for a long time that our success in the army is based on junior leaders who are empowered to make decisions. If we can effectively share our training model, this will help make the Kuwait Army even

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