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Chilton County squadron wins cadet competition

AUBURN – Civil Air Patrol cadets from the Mississippi and Alabama Wings met in Auburn Nov. 22 for a grueling daylong competition that tested both physical prowess and aerospace knowledge and leadership skills. The third annual Auburn Iron Man competition represents one of the toughest challenges CAP volunteers can face, and this year a dozen teams vied for the honor of being named CAP’s toughest squadron.

The competition, held Saturday, Nov. 22 at Auburn University and hosted by the Auburn Composite Squadron, brings together the three core missions of the Civil Air Patrol — emergency services, aerospace education, and cadet programs – into a single challenge that tests both the physical and mental capabilities of cadet and senior members.

Competition consisted of five events: a “super” physical fitness test, a military-style inspection, a compass navigation and direction-finding course, a drill competition, and finally the “Iron Man Run,” a grueling three- to five-mile course punctuated with stops for objective tasks that test competitors’ aerospace knowledge and practical skills.

The competition’s overall winner was the Chilton County composite squadron, which carried home a traveling trophy and a commander’s commendation for each team member. Winning team members from Chilton County were Capt. Sam Ogilvie and cadets Jonathan Ernest, Jessica Ernest, Andrew McGowin, Jacob McGowin and Brittni Lawley. The squadron will defend its title next year.

Runners up were the Redstone Composite Squadron of Huntsville, and the Maxwell Composite Squadron of Montgomery.

Individual events winners were:

Physical Fitness Test: Maxwell Composite Squadron

Inspection: Redstone Composite Squadron

Drill Competition: Maxwell Composite Squadron

Emergency Services Competition: Mobile and Baldwin County, Ala., composite squadrons combined team

Iron Man Run: Redstone Composite Squadron

This year’s competition saw a total of 12 teams comprised of more than 72 officer and cadet members from Alabama and Mississippi. Overall more than 120 CAP members, Air Force ROTC cadets from Auburn University, and spectators attended the daylong event.

“The purpose of the ‘Iron Man’ competition is to incorporate the three missions of Civil Air Patrol into one event,” said Auburn squadron commander Capt. Christopher Tate. “It involves squadrons of the Wing in a safe, competitive, challenging and — most importantly — fun environment.”

“We were happy to see so many people participate in this year’s event,” Tate said. “We had more than double the participation of last year. It is our goal to make this a truly regional event with teams from across the Southeast Region. But if a team from outside this region wants to come and take our trophy, we’d be happy to let them try.”