Ordnance Soldiers take on Power Belt Challenge

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Story by Patrick Buffett on 11/16/2017
FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 16, 2017) -- "Power Weekend" is a fitting title for the 59th Ordnance Brigade activity that takes place over most extended holiday breaks on the Fort Lee Ordnance Campus nowadays.

Student-Soldiers are "feeling the juice" through a series of events that incorporate aspects of military training, service tradition and history, teambuilding, physical fitness, resiliency and morale support.

The latest iteration started Friday with its signature kickoff event, the Power Belt Challenge, in which 15-member teams of Soldiers from each advanced individual training company in the brigade tackled a series of obstacles ranging from tire-flip and ammo-can races to tossing training grenades and breaking down and reassembling M16 rifles.

"You can look at these events and see that we're reinforcing the warrior task and battle drill skills learned in basic training and we're doing it in a fun and competitive way," observed Col. Sean Davis, brigade commander, as he mingled with troops and watched the competitive events at Whittington Parade Field. "Fitness also is a big part of it when you look at challenges like the tire-flip, ammo can and five-gallon water container races."

The broader perspective abundantly clear to any observer was the desire of competing teams to quickly conquer obstacles and achieve the win at any cost. Davis noted how that refusal to let down battle buddies and determination to best represent one's unit gets at the core of Soldiering itself.

"This is the whole reason they're here; to be part of something important and respected," he said. "When we do events like this, we're building the pride of Ordnance Corps Soldiers."

Davis highlighted other aspects of Power Weekend a Family and MWR hosted movie night that evening, a drill and ceremony competition Saturday (see coverage, Pages 12-13), religious services on Sunday, and a Petersburg National Battlefield tour Monday and noted how, they too, are integral to whole-Soldier training requirements.

"Another benefit we get from this activity," Davis said. "is that we only task one company with putting it together, giving the 10 other companies in the brigade an opportunity to stand down and let their cadre enjoy a long weekend with their families. That goes a long way toward building their morale as well."

The Veterans Day weekend installment was tasked to Echo Company, 16th Ord. Battalion, and 1st Lt. Kenia Hurtado, the unit's executive officer, took the lead as event organizer.

Delta Company, 16th Ord. Battalion, turned in the fastest time thanks to a 30-second reward after winning the tug-of-war competition and took receipt of the Power Belt and its associated entitlement of bragging rights. Another Power Weekend is planned for the Thanksgiving break.

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