Lockhart native to vie for U.S. Army Best Sapper title


Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Capt. Joseph Anchondo, a Lockhart native, is slated to compete in the 17th Best Sapper Competition, to be held April 19 through 22 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Anchondo is part of a two-person team representing the 65th Brigade Engineer Battalion at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, scheduled to compete against 49 other teams for the Best Sapper title.

The competition showcases the Army’s elite combat engineering Soldiers, who support infantry forces — among other skills, Sapper’s breach fortifications, place and remove landmines, work with explosives and install portable bridges. The name “Sapper” is derived from French, and originates from the early days of siege warfare, when military engineers would dig tunnels under castle walls.

During the competition, each Soldier will be required to travel more than 60 miles in 58 hours, throughout the wooded and hilly Ozarks, while carrying a ruck sack that weighs more than 80 pounds and competing in a variety of events, testing them to their mental and physical breaking point.

Sappers will compete on limited amounts of sleep and will have to complete a series of tasks, including demolition, land navigation, steel cutting, mountaineering, a wire obstacle breach, marksmanship, timber cutting techniques, bridge reconnaissance and utilizing handheld mine detectors.

The opening ceremony, slated to begin at 5 p.m. on April 19, will be live streamed to www.facebook.com/fortleonardwoodmissouri, as well as the closing ceremony at 10 a.m. on April 23, and various events in between.


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.