HMT-302 competes in 'Echo Challenge'

12 Jan 2007 | Cpl. Randall A. Clinton

Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 302 held an “Echo-Challenge,” Friday.

Fourteen teams, consisting of more than 70 Marines, participated in a six-mile run, 12-mile bike race and stretcher carry event designed to test their endurance.  First, second and third place prizes were donated by local businesses. 

The race course featured a unique twist where Marines asked competitors questions related to Marine Corps history, regulations and customs and courtesies. By adding the questions, planners hoped to challenge the physical and mental fortitude of the contestants.

One of the teams, nicknamed “Minority Rule,” employed a secret weapon against the treacherous course in the form of Cpl. Jose Andazola, a squadron airframes mechanic, who excelled during a recent corporal’s course. 

“He came in second place in corporal’s course” said teammate Lance Cpl. Albert Romero about Andazola, who scored a perfect 300 on the course’s physical fitness test -- one of the only perfect PFT’s from HMT-302. 

The commanding officer of HMT-302, Lt. Col. Archibald M. McLellan, offered any Marine who finished before him a 4-day weekend pass. 

“We came out here to beat the CO, that’s a major reason,” said Romero.  He added that the feat isn’t as easy as it would seem because the CO is considered a “PT machine,” throughout the squadron.

The event was a chance for the squadron to earn extra liberty time while helping raise money for their Marine Corps Birthday Ball fund. 

If you have further questions regarding this or other MCAS New River events, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 449-5431, or the duty cell phone at 910-376-2157.

Headquarters Marine Corps