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NEWS | June 7, 2024

Team Air Force District of Washington Builds Unity, Strength in Readiness Challenge X

By Airman Shanel Toussaint 11th Civil Engineer Squadron

The 11th Civil Engineer Squadron from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., and the 316th CES from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, joined forces in the Readiness Challenge X, a five-day competition consisting of simulated deployment exercises April 22-27 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, Florida.

The Readiness Challenge is a capstone series between worldwide CES teams, including U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps counterparts. The goal is to test readiness, mitigate deficiencies, and identify training opportunities within the unit.

The Air Force District of Washington team, consisting of both JBAB and JBA Airmen, assembled to exemplify the wide variety of civil engineering skills required for a successful deployment.

“It was empowering to watch the team come together to work strategically as one and know that we would thrive in a deployment setting together,” said Master Sergeant Colton Casteele, the senior enlisted leader of the AFDW team.

The team, consisting of more than 30 Airmen, demonstrated tactical readiness and efficiency while performing tasks in a chemical warfare environment. These tasks highlighted the team’s commitment to the warrior ethos as both men and women worked side-by-side to complete the grueling obstacles.

“It feels great to be a part of something bigger than myself and it’s awesome to show that women can contribute to the mission in a big way,” said Staff Sergeant Mercedes Sorenson, the Fitness Assessment NCO in charge of the 1st Operations Force Support Squadron at JBA.

By the end of the challenge, Team AFDW showcased their ability to carry out vital tasks in a combat environment while prioritizing camaraderie and teamwork above all.

“I would go into battle alongside each and every one of you,” said Captain Scott Haddock, the AFDW team lead and Operations Flight commander of the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron at JBA.