Never Underestimate the Power of Truss

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A U.S. soldier competes in sports day games during U.S. Army Central led exercise Steppe Eagle 2015 in Kazakhstan.

I enjoy competing. It's a therapeutic release.

Steppe Eagle 2015 sports day games brought out the competitive spirit in soldiers from the U.S., U.K. and Kazakhstan at Ilisky Training Area on Apr. 11.

Kazakhstan’s Airmobile Forces selected the sporting events for the competition, which included tug of war, arm wrestling, weightlifting and a relay race.

The Kazakhstanis dominated the games, winning each of the four competitions as a collective team, but Columbus, Ga. native Staff Sgt. Eric Truss, with the 71st Chemical Company, 303rd Explosive Ordinance Battalion, turned out to be a secret weapon for the U.S.

Truss, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist deployed in support of U.S. Army Central, placed second in the weightlifting competition and third in the arm wrestling competition.

“I started lifting to deal with depression,” said Truss. “Now, I enjoy competing. It’s a therapeutic release.”

Truss, who has been lifting for six years, said he lifts weights as a hobby, and although the games may be played a little differently than the U.S., the essence of competition is universal.

The games were a little different from what soldiers from the U.K and U.S. are accustomed to. For instance, tug of war was played with a rope about four times the size of a normal tug of war rope, and in the arm wrestling competition soldiers were allowed to use their full bodies, not just their arms.

Even with slight modifications in the games, Truss was able to give both the British and Kazakhstani soldiers stiff competition.

“Truss did an excellent job,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nancy Silva, a human resources noncommissioned officer with the 50th Military Engagement Team. “He really made us proud.”

Truss is one of more than 70 U.S. and U.K. soldiers participating in Steppe Eagle 2015. The exercise is an information exchange focused on helping Kazakhstan’s Airmobile Forces refine peacekeeping operations tasks, while improving interoperability and military cooperation.

Soldiers from U.S. Army Central, the Arizona National Guard and the 50th Military Engagement Team are among those participating in this year’s exercise. To follow this year’s event, go to http://www.facebook.com/steppe.eagle.

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Angel Jackson
MICC - Fort Jackson
+1 9152278555
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Maj. Angel Jackson
U.S. Army Central
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