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SFS wins big at Guardian Challenge

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- After months of training and dedication, the 30th Security Forces Squadron received the honors of Best Security Forces Team and Best Security Forces Obstacle Course Team for their role in the Air Force Space Command's Guardian Challenge 2010.

Guardian Challenge 2010, which culminated at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., May 21, tested the security forces members' skills in several categories, including marksmanship, combat tactics and the ability to complete an obstacle course.

"Our goal was to win and that's exactly what we did," said Airman 1st Class Michael Perolio, an armory technician for the 30th SFS. "We knew that the obstacle course would be our best event."

The obstacle course consisted of a 1.5 mile run with 17 obstacles built in. The team completed the course in 11 minutes, 30 seconds, breaking the previously set record.

"We didn't know what to expect," said Staff Sgt. Dominic Buzzelli, a patrolman for the 30th SFS and the lead for the Guardian Challenge team. "Since we didn't know what we would or wouldn't have to do, we trained for everything. Honestly, there wasn't anything we didn't train for."

The team attributes their success to the combination of workouts they participated in. Running and weight-training were their standard workouts. In addition, the team swam laps, attended classes and worked with local agencies to attain the training they were interested in.

"We used as many resources as possible to ensure a win for the team," said Master Sgt. Jeffrey Jones, the team trainer. "We even worked with the Santa Maria Police Department to learn tactics."

The team flew out to Colorado three days early in order to acclimate to the elevation. When it snowed their first day in Colorado, the team went for a run to get used to the elevation and it didn't seem that bad. During the obstacle course, however, it was definitely noticeable, said Airman Perolio.

The team said they were especially impressed with the support at the event. Commanders, chiefs, family and friends were all in attendance.

"So many people came to support us who we didn't expect," said Sergeant Buzzelli. "We represented both the (30th) Security Forces Squadron and the base and we did it well. I think we impressed a lot of people."

Each team member received an individual trophy for their part in the challenge. Team trophies will also be received and prominently displayed in the trophy case at the squadron as a reminder of their win.