A combined NATO team has competed with RAF, US Army and Romanian Air Force teams in a gruelling fitness challenge at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania to win the ‘Golden Jerry Can of Pain.'
In a test of team spirit, determination and fitness RAF personnel currently deployed on a NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania organised a Battle Physical Training Challenge to compete with other NATO Allies. RAF Regiment Gunners representing the UK took on their US Infantry and Romanian Air Force Military Police counterparts, while RAF personnel from the wider UK 121 Expeditionary Air Wing joined forces with other US, German Air Force and Romanian Air Force personnel to form a combined NATO team.
The first challenge for the four teams was a strenuous 4km stretcher race followed by a 2.4km speed march. Eight members from each team carried a 70kg stretcher and then passed the baton onto the 9th team member who tabbed with a 20kg backpack to the finish line.
“It was nice but a little bit hard. I was a bit surprised by the level of competition; didn’t expect that, it was nice though."
Romanian Air Force team member
The next Physical Training Challenge saw teams battling it out in a ‘Fire Truck Pull’ event. UK, US, Romanian and German spectators lined the route as the four teams fought to see how far they could pull the RAF’s 28-tonne Major Foam Vehicle in one minute. At the end of the two heats there was a tie for first place between the US Army and the combined NATO team.
The Battle Physical Training Challenge final between the two remaining teams consisted of lorry tyre flips, burpees and a 400m kettle bell run by each team’s nine members. The audience cheered, watching dust clouds envelop the competitors as they flipped the tyres, completed each of the burpees sets and then ran with 20kg thrown over their shoulders.
The coveted ‘Golden Jerry Can of Pain’ was fiercely sought after. The US Army took an early lead, but the teams drew level as the event reached its climax, with the NATO team sneaking ahead in the 28 degree heat to win the aptly-named award.
“That was awesome and I think we pushed each other really hard. The other team looked way more fit, but we had more drive than they did I guess."
US Army Specialist Aldezi
“For everyone watching this is something to aspire to; it was a great effort from everyone who took part. Pulling a 28-tonne MFV should not be underestimated; each nation displayed grit and determination and it is fitting that the combined NATO team has won. It is a clear demonstration that, by collaborating and pulling together, we can achieve greater things."
Wing Commander Lamping
Commanding Officer 121 Expeditionary Air Wing
Below is a video showing the Physical Training Challenge.