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“BEEFing” up for a challenge

Airmen low-crawl during a battle buddy hill climb competitive event

Staff Sgt. Sam Moran, a 28th Civil Engineering Squadron structural craftsman, and Senior Airman Joshua Grimm, a 28th CES structural journeyman, low-crawl during a battle buddy hill climb competitive event on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 11, 2021. The competition was part of the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (BEEF) Challenge, which consisted of six events meant to simulate the stressful and exhausting environments Airmen could encounter while downrange. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quentin K. Marx)

Airmen treat a simulated injury

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineering Squadron treat a simulated injury during the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (BEEF) Challenge on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 11, 2021. During the challenge’s self-aid buddy care event, engineers ran 50 yards into an unknown location with multiple obstacles in order to move simulated casualties to a collection point and perform lifesaving protocols. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quentin K. Marx)

Airmen carry a manikin on a stretcher

Airmen from the 28th Civil Engineering Squadron carry a manikin on a stretcher at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 11, 2021. The litter carry obstacle course event of the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (BEEF) Challenge required a team of four engineers to perform 10 pushups and sprint to a 180-pound training dummy, where they then lifted and moved it through a one-eighth mile obstacle course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quentin K. Marx)

A 28th Civil Engineering Squadron power production journeyman, assembles an M4 Carbine.

Senior Airman Toby Gravley, a 28th Civil Engineering Squadron power production journeyman, assembles an M4 Carbine at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 11, 2021. During the M4 breakdown relay race of the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (BEEF) Challenge, Airmen raced carrying two ammo cans from the starting line to a table with an M4. Once they reached the weapon, they were required to disassemble or reassemble it and return to the starting line with the ammo cans to tap in the next team member. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quentin K. Marx)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The 28th Civil Engineer Squadron held the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force (BEEF) Challenge June 11 at the Camp Lacer training range on Ellsworth Air Force Base.

The challenge was designed to test the readiness of Ellsworth’s combat engineers with mock events that simulated what an engineer could experience in a deployed environment.

“The challenge consisted of six events: land navigation, self-aid buddy care, M4 breakdown relay, battle buddy hill climb, litter carry obstacle course and a memory test,” said Tech. Sgt. Keaton Pearce, the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron unit deployment manager. “Each challenge lasts for 30 minutes with a 15-minute window to transport contestants to the next event.”

Every challenge had at least one physical and mental component. During the M4 breakdown relay race of the Prime BEEF Challenge, the Airmen raced carrying two ammo cans from the starting line to a table with an M4. Once they reached the weapon, they were required to disassemble or reassemble it and return to the starting line with the ammo cans to tap in the next team member.

“The competition was meant to create a team environment, bringing individual shops out to compete with one another, and increase morale as the events are extremely challenging,” said Pearce.

Engineers are usually the first in and the last out of deployment environments, and they need to be ready for anything that might come their way, the technical sergeant further explained.

“Ellsworth wants extremely well-trained professionals and that’s exactly what we are producing,” said Pearce.

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