American Heroes Challenge: Charity, training & competition

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Post written by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Swanson, District Eleven Public Affairs

American Heroes Challenge
LAS VEGAS – A team of Coast Guard advanced interdiction boarding officers for the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team, move a dummy soldier to a safe haven during the American Heroes Challenge, a two-day multi-stage firearms and tactics competition. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Swanson.

Along a ridge against the Sheep Mountain Range in North Las Vegas, Coast Guard Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement (PACTACLET) team members put their skills to the test against military, first responders and law enforcement professionals in the 2nd annual American Heroes Challenge last weekend. The two-day competition is a fundraising event designed around a multi-stage firearms and tactics competition, which kicked off the city of Las Vegas’ Veterans Week.

The PACTACLET team of five advanced interdiction boarding officers and a backup member used innovative problem-solving methods, teamwork, and their special skill sets to complete tasks in scenarios designed to push the limits of their abilities. The team competed in events that challenged their physical endurance and professional expertise, sometimes under low-light conditions, searching buildings and vehicles for weapons and combatants or sniping targets before jogging nearly a mile outfitted in full tactical gear to breech an enemy compound and rescue injured soldiers.

American Heroes Challenge
LAS VEGAS – Members of the Coast Guard’s PACTACLET apprehend a suspect during the American Heroes Challenge, which kicked off the city of Las Vegas’ Veterans Week. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Swanson.

Competing and training alongside the local and federal teams was a valuable opportunity to challenge themselves and try new techniques, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Jarmin, an advanced interdiction boarding officer for the PACTACLET.

The event, held at the Clark County Shooting Park, attracted a multitude of spectators including friends and family members of the Coast Guard team who traveled from San Diego to cheer them on and support the good cause.

The American Heroes Challenge is a charitable organization created to pay tribute to members of the military, law enforcement and first responder communities. Proceeds from the event will go toward raising money for a world-class veterans memorial in Las Vegas, the only major metropolitan city without such a memorial.

“Even though our team is stationed in California and we are a federal service, it is an honor to have the chance to support our veterans here in Las Vegas,” said Jarmin. “If we can do anything to help this community and support their veterans, past, present and future, we are all for it.”

American Heroes Challenge
LAS VEGAS – Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Peter Dillan, an advanced interdiction boarding officer for the PACTACLET, fires a 45-caliber pistol in a marksmanship competition during the 2nd annual American Heroes Challenge. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Swanson.

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