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May 12, 2010 - Army Sgt. Chad A. Brannan recently competed in the 3-day event "Best Sapper" to determine what 2-man team would endure as the Army's best combat engineers.

Brannan, a 2006 Goodrich High School graduate, was part of a team from Alpha Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

Day one kicked off with the 29 teams taking a non-standard physical fitness test that consisted of five minutes each of push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups and a 3-mile run. After the run, the teams competed in a round robin phase that included knot tying and identification, various weapons assembly, mine identification and manual breaching of obstacles while carrying a mannequin on a stretcher.

Day two started with a rucksack march in the dark. When the sun came up the teams performed a helo cast and poncho raft swim while pulling 90 pounds of gear. After the swim, teams completed events in which they ran an obstacle course, fired various weapons as quickly and accurately as they could, rapelled 90 feet down the face of a cliff, breached one door with explosives and another with a shotgun, built and detonated field expedient charges, and conducted room entry and clearance.

A night navigation event through the woods took the teams into the final day of competition in which they completed a nearly 10-mile run with stake drive, bridge building, log cutting and a tire flip course.

Brannan is the son of Timothy and Heather Brannan of Goodrich.

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