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Service members compete against firefighters, police at downtown Anchorage?s Summer Solstice Festival
A member of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association rolls out of an inflatable obstacle course during the Hero Games, part of the Solstice festival, in downtown Anchorage, Alaska June 23. Teams made up of Active Duty Army, Air Force, Guard, Reserve, the APD, fire department and other units participated in the friendly competition designed to improve morale and relations between the different units. On the longest day of the year-summer solstace-Anchorage, Alaska, gets 22 hours of functional daylight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett)
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Service members compete against firefighters, police at downtown Anchorage's Summer Solstice Festival

Posted 6/27/2012   Updated 6/27/2012 Email story   Print story


by Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs

6/27/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Active-duty Army and Air Force members, along with members of the Anchorage Police Department, fire department, state troopers and other branches of service participated in the Hero Games, held in downtown Anchorage Saturday.

"This is the Hero Games for the Solstice Festival," said Air Force Capt. Michael Twining, 673d Security Forces Squadron, captain of the team Arctic Defenders and native Bellingham, Wash. "What we're doing is a community event where teams from the base and from downtown, like the police department, fire department, all come together to compete.

"We just finished balloon volleyball. So we have a blanket, four team members use team work to get that water balloon up over the net and hope the other team doesn't catch it. When it breaks, it gets them wet. We all had fun."

Thousands of people came to attend, watch the games, and shop.

"This is great; you can see how many people are down here in Anchorage," he said. "It's great for the economy; it's great to show us in uniform, whether it be PT gear or whatever down here. We're here, we're involved, and we're part of the Anchorage community."

The Hero Games are a day-long friendly competition between the police, troopers, each military branch and the fire department that takes place in downtown Anchorage during the Summer Solstice Festival.

The teams were challenged with events such as the obstacle course, a "rescue the cat" climb, litter carry, the bucket brigade and tricycle races.

"We actually organized this event," said Corey Evans of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. "This is our fourth year doing it.

"It's been a great thing to get all the competitors together from the Air Force, the Army, the National Guard, everybody coming together and makes teams together and just having a good time today.

"It's just wonderful that everyone gets to come out and see everyone working together, it's high in spirit, there's real good gamesmanship, they all talk and they shake hands afterwards - but at the moment they're competing against each other, it gets pretty fierce."

On the longest day of the year - summer solstice - Anchorage, gets 22 hours of functional daylight.

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