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Airmen Slay Dragon Challenge 2022

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sydney Knizekewich
  • Pope Army Airfield Public Affairs

Sixteen Airmen competed in the 2022 Dragon Challenge that took place at Pope Army Airfield from Sept. 25-28. Hosted by the 18th Air Support Operations Group and organized by the 818th Operations Support Squadron, the annual competition is designed to identify the best Joint Terminal Attack Controller teams within the group by testing their competitors’ steadfast physical, technical, tactical, and field-knowledge skills under mock combat conditions. 

The competition began in 1995 as a means to push the best Airmen from each squadron to compete, improve, and bring new skills back to their units. Today, Dragon Challenge serves as a rite-of-passage for members of the group to hone their skills and then move on to compete in the Lightning Challenge - the competition to identify the best Joint Terminal Attack Controller teams across the Air Force enterprise. 

Airmen from the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron (Pope AAF), 15th Air Support Operations Squadron (Fort Stewart, GA), 19th Air Support Operations Squadron (Fort Campbell, KY) and 20th Air Support Operations Squadron (Fort Drum, NY) competed in several physically demanding events to induce fatigue, reduce mental acuity, necessitate teamwork, and ultimately test the grit and determination of each team member over a 48-hour span. 

Dragon Challenge 2022 Results

Top Team Overall - 2nd Lt. Benjamin Daniels & SrA Michael Dorminy (15 ASOS)
Physical Category - 2nd Lt. Zach Smagowicz & SrA Justin Cole (14 ASOS)
Tactical Category - 2nd Lt. Benjamin Daniels & SrA Michael Dorminy (15 ASOS)
Field Skills Category - SrA Keith Skinner & A1C Zachary Lisinski (15 ASOS)