Commander’s challenge!

1st Lt. Cristina McNulty
Contributing Writer

***image1***What better way to jumpstart squadron unity than by challenging
everyone to a grueling triathlon?  Lt. Col. Nelson Johnson, 86th
Operations Support Squadron commander, did just that.  Saying
anyone that could beat him would be awarded a three-day pass as well as
a commander’s coin.  

Bill Cosens organized the sprint triathlon that consisted of a 500
meter swim at the Ramstein pool, a 20 kilometer bike race, and a 5
kilometer run.  

The triathlon was held Sept. 9 and started with the swimming portion at
the Azure Pool in Ramstein village, the competitors then biked to the
base and the run took place through the housing complex and ended near
Donnelly Park.

The entire squadron was out and about competing or cheering on individual teams.  

All were eager to see if anyone could out-swim, out-bike and out-run their 40-year old commander.  

After finishing first in the swim and bike races, it seemed as if
Colonel Johnson wouldn’t be granting any three-day vacations.  But
the last leg of the meet made things interesting.

Casey Jackson managed to not only pass the commander during the run,
but come in one full minute ahead with a final time of 1 hour and 6

When asked how he felt at the end of the race, all Jackson could utter
was, “Ouch.”  As he was catching his breath at the finish line, he
said, “I feel like I wish I was 29.”  

Despite a second place finish, the colonel said he “thoroughly enjoyed the competition and more importantly, the camaraderie.”

***image2***Forty-one competitors participated in the “Beat the Boss” challenge, of
which four completed the entire race on their own.  The rest of
the individuals formed six teams that relayed the swim, bike and
running events.  

“It seemed to be a great unifying effort, not only did the OSS come
together as a unit for a fun event, but other agencies across the base,
including security forces and services, assisted with the logistics and
planning of the event,” said Cosens.  

The winning relay team, made up of Ground Controlled Approach members,
was awarded the “Haulin’ OSS” prize while the losing team, Wing Tactics
(OSK), will be displaying the stick toy horse named “Dragon OSS” in
their section until the next commander’s challenge.

“It’ll be the only time we hold Dragon OSS!” ensured John Coy, OSK
flight commander.  His flight will organize the next challenge in
order to get the chance to redeem itself and pass on the “Dragon OSS”
to another unit.

“I look forward to what OSK comes up with for the next challenge
and am confident it will be unprecedented,” said Colonel Johnson.