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Students from Air War College and Air Command Staff College compete in a 5K race on Maxwell Air Force Base, Oct. 8. The race was part of a 2-day competition between the academic powerhouses compiling of approximately 20 events, both scholastic and athletic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Blankenship)
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Duel of the schools

Posted 10/9/2013   Updated 10/9/2013 Email story   Print story


by Donovan Jackson
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

10/9/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- Taking a break from the daily rigors of Air Force academia, the Air Command and Staff College competed against the Air War College in the second annual Duel of The Schools competition Monday and Tuesday.
Events took place base-wide, providing excitement, relaxation and a competitive spirit for ACSC and AWC students.

"This friendly rivalry started three years ago," said Lt. Col. Dwayne Lahaye, AWC student. "The Duel of The Schools competition is a great break from the demanding academic routine for all of the students. The AWC team was really fired up this year, and we are always looking forward to competing against our much younger counterparts at ACSC."

According Lahaye, the Dual of The Schools competition is a "carry on" from the Jim Thorpe Days competition, but at a much more economical cost.

"In the past, the AWC would send students to participate in a long-standing annual sports event called the Jim Thorpe Days," he said. "Students would travel to Carlisle Barracks (Penn.) to compete against the other senior military schools, like the Army War College and National War College, in mental and physical challenges. However, due to serious budget constraints in the past couple of years, the AWC began reaching out to its neighbor ACSC for fun competition hosted locally at Maxwell."

Events for the competition ranged from the physical, such as tennis, cycling, and running, to the cognitive, such as Jeopardy and chess.

"I really enjoyed all of the events, but my favorite was the 5K run," said ACSC student Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Farley, an F-18 Hornet pilot. "This event really helped to bring the colleges together while encouraging us to get to know one another on a competitive level."

Aside from being an enjoyable time, the competition provided the opportunity for international officer students to participate in friendly, American competition.

"I really enjoyed the competitive spirit of my American colleagues," said Col. Marco Lant, member of the Italian Air Force and AWC student. "I feel that a competition such as this helps to build our relationships and partnerships amongst each other, but most importantly, our friendship."

AWC class president, Col. David Drichta, said that the competition helps to bring a "level of balance" to the academic year.

"We are all here for a year of professional military education, and competitions like the Duel of The Schools gives us a chance to refresh ourselves before hitting the books again," said Dritcha. "You can only study for so long; it's nice to get out and have a little fun with athletics."
After the scores for each individual event were counted, ACSC rose victorious over AWC, bringing home a trophy and bragging rights until next year's event.

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