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Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge 2017

A 70-mile odyssey over four days through the dense-wet forest of Pärnu, Estonia, while being attacked by opposing forces is not an item on most soldier’s bucket list. Highly determined to compete and win, 28 four-person teams from 11 nations assembled for the Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge from Aug. 1-4, 2017. It’s an arduous competition that tests participants’ ability to tactically navigate through difficult terrain; avoid contact with unfriendly forces, military or civilian; negotiate obstacle courses; fight on different equipment/weapons systems; and while sleep deprived, maintain sanity long enough to make it across the finish line. Not every team makes it to the end, four teams did not.

The Maryland National Guard’s team and the Trilateral team, made up of soldiers from the MDNG, Estonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, were not ones to quit before the finish. The Trilateral team reflects the state partnerships the MDNG has with Estonia since 1993 and Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2003. This video follows the MDNG team through some of its grueling journey. (US National Guard video by Sgt. 1st Class Thaddeus Harrington)