Coalition forces compete at Ali Base

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Dwayne Gordon
  • 407th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
Members of the 407th Expeditionary Services Squadron hosted the first ever Coalition Games Aug. 20 through 26 at Ali Base and Camp Adder, Iraq. 

The week-long event gave American, Australian and Romanian forces friendly competitions in basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, weightlifting, dodgeball, a 10K run and a tug-of-war. 

Participants included teams from the Air Force, the 82nd Sustainment Brigade and 1/82 Battle Combat Team from the Army, the Navy, Romanian forces, Australian forces, and civilian contractors.

The Coalition Games began with a basketball game between the Air Force and Australian forces and a softball game between the 82nd SB and Australian forces. The Air Force outscored the Australian forces 81-22 in basketball, while the 82nd SB blew past the Australian forces 16-5 in softball.

The tournaments continued through the week. Air Force teams managed to take first place in softball, volleyball, weightlifting, dodgeball and the 10K run. The Romanian forces took first place in soccer and the tug-of-war, and the 1/82 BCT took first place in basketball.

During the closing ceremonies Aug. 26, the Air Force was awarded as the overall Coalition Games champions. The 82nd SB placed second, and the Romanian forces placed third.

"The games were a great idea," said Joseph Ashebycliffe, Australian forces physical training instructor. "The Australian's who participated in the Coalition Games enjoyed all of the events, particularly dodgeball. We hope next time to provide competitive teams in all sports; however, this will once again depend on availability due to mission responsibilities.

"The Coalition Games were meant for all of us to relax and come together as a whole," said Staff Sgt. Amanda Taylor, the 407th ESVS fitness director. "It allowed for friendly competition, to show sportsmanship skills and to build team cohesion. We added sports that all forces were familiar with and could enjoy. Not only was the unit participation great, but the spectators came to show support for their fellow comrades as they cheered each other on for the championship."

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