Kingsley’s warrior ethos tested at the 2015 Iron Owl Challenge

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Penny Snoozy
  • 173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Four members of the 173rd Fighter Wing joined together to participate in this year's Iron Owl Challenge held in Klamath County, Ore., May 15th - 17th.  The Iron Owl tests any willing participants in the rigorous, demanding challenges that typify military Special Operations training. Kingsley Field participated with three other teams from across the United States.

2nd Lt. Adrian Mateos-Chavarria, Master Sgt. Ross Hawkins, Tech. Sgt. Clinton Wells, and Staff Sgt. Chris Hernandez made up team Kingsley. Mateos said he was proud of the fact that they had representation from across the wing. 

"They demonstrated the high level of readiness and team work that characterizes Team Kingsley," he said.

Events included a broad range of activities including multiple ruck marches, water survival tasks while in full gear, two consecutive Crossfit workouts, academic and attention to detail testing, night-time and day-time land navigation, a five mile special operations course, open lake swimming, two Marine Corps physical fitness tests, an Army Physical Fitness Test, and a full day of small arms courses on the last day. The first two days of the event feature sleep deprivation and hunger, among other pleasantries.

This event honors wounded warriors and fallen brothers-in-arms, as teams carry a "Fifth Man" throughout the entire grueling three day event. This "Fifth Man" is a brick commemorating the life of an American Military member who made the ultimate sacrifice. It is represented as a cinder block with the details of their teams' veteran and his or her heroic actions printed, laminated, and fastened to the block.

"Iron Owl is a great opportunity ... for those willing to measure if they are fit to fight as it tests an individual's mental and physical capacity while integrating the vital portion of teamwork required to fight and win," said Mateos.

In addition to Team Kingsley, members of the Air Force, Army, and Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps participated in the event.

Mateos said it was "...inspiring to see the high level of performance and courtesy of the future generation of men and women that will be defending our country after graduating from the ROTC [program]."

The Iron Owl Challenge is partnered with Oregon Institute of Technology to honor the Veterans of our community. Events took place across Klamath County to include the Ella Redkey pool, Topsy Reservoir, and Klamath Sportsman's Park.