2010 - EPISODE 9:
Construct a poncho raft containing rucksacks and M4’s, then jump out of a UH-60 Blackhawk into Victory Pond and swim to shore pulling the raft.
MSG Eric Turk: Twelve hours. Touch as many points as you want. So we stayed out all twelve hours and now we’re starting in on the last day. About ready to wrap it up.
Fort Benning, Georgia. The final day. Camp Darby. After an all night orienteering took them to dawn and Day 3, the Ranger teams were pounded by the Darby Queen. Team 21 took the top spot, but still in first place overall is Team 6. Now they move right to the Helocast. Time for a quick dip in the pond.
TCS: Task, Conditions and Standards. Construct poncho raft containing rucksacks and M4s. Jump out of UH60 Blackhawk into Victory Pond. Swim to shore pulling raft. Carry raft across finish line. Fastest time wins. Team 6, Master Sergeants Turk and Ross, have been in command since the first event. The pressure is on to finish the remaining few events with no mistakes.
After making their poncho raft, they’re set to board the Blackhawk for the quick hop to Victory Pond.
And now, the 200-meter swim, towing the 150-pound poncho raft. This is the ultimate sink or swim task. The Rangers are now in Day 3, essentially moving straight through the course with no sleep while dealing with high temperatures, brutal humidity, and minimal food rations.
Sergeant First Class Aurty Long: From here, you can take your poncho wrap, move over here to the bleachers, drop in the sandbags, disassemble it and get ready for the water confidence test.
TCS: Rangers must navigate log walk and rope drop. Climb 75-foot tower. Descend slide for life. Cross the finish line. Team 23, Sergeant Billings and Staff Sergeant Mirador, want to climb up during the water events. Sergeant Billings captured this event last year. His new partner hopes for a repeat performance.
SSG Eurgene Mirador: My partner and I, Jeremy Billings, he’s done four times, so we get along really, so that’s, I think that’s how we got paired together. We work well together and that just – our personalities are somewhat similar, so that’s how we get along.
Climbing quickly, Sergeant Billings negotiates that log walk and step obstacle forty feet above the water. Competitors must touch the Ranger tab before dropping into the water. As Staff Sergeant Mirador descends the slide for life, Sergeant Billings makes his way to the top of the 75-foot tower.
Mirador: We’re in the middle of the pack right now, so we’re hoping to still move up in the rankings.
Sergeant Jeremy Billings: Got number 1 on the Helocast, and right now we’re at number 1 on the water confidence course.
Still maintaining their strong hold on the overall lead is Team 6, Master Sergeants Turk and Ross, as they continue to push hard.
Turk: Well, we just got second on Darby Queen, and I think second here, so I think we’re doing alright.
Turk and Ross know there is no rest until the final finish line.
Up next, the last event: the Final Buddy Run.
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