Bogota, Columbia - "Fuerzas Commando" is a special forces competition hosted every year by the U.S. Southern Command. NRA Life of Duty was there last year in Colombia for the eight days of training, specialization and competition. But it's not about winning. There is more to Fuerzas Commando then that.
"There is a bigger objective," said American MSG Arteaga. "That is to build relationships, make new ones and fortify old ones."
A tough objective in any setting. Add the exhaustion brought on by eight twenty-hour days of training and it's almost impossible. Especially when considering the people involved.
"We're all type A personalities," Arteaga laughed. "It kind of stings when you're not in first, but that's not the objective here. At least not for us."
Created to foster cooperation and working relationships with potential military partners, these games start early in the morning and go late into the night. The sniper competition is one example.
In the dead of night, two man teams gather upon a ravine with targets placed below. Using only a parachute flair, the spotter and shooter have all of twenty seconds to identify and engage as many targets as possible. All of this after a full day of training in the hot Columbian sun.
Lt. Sebastian Campos of the Paraguay Air Force said, through a translator, that "events can be
very hard some times because we get sick from working out in the heat."
After the eight days are done (Columbian Special Forces won this year's match - their fifth victory in nine years), all gather for a combine forces parachute jump. A celebration of the cooperation experienced during the competition.
To see more on "Fuerzas Commando", go to NRA Life of Duty.