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Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge

The Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge consisted of a 5K with four workout stations representing each of the members of Team Ouallam along the way. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman

Leadership from the 768th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron sprint to the finish line during the Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge at Nigerien Air Base 101, Niamey, Niger, Oct. 4, 2018. The challenge consisted of a 5K with four workout stations representing each of the members of Team Ouallam along the way. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman)

The Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge consisted of a 5K with four workout stations representing each of the members of Team Ouallam along the way. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman

Four stations were marked by signs with the names of Team Ouallam along the 5K route for the Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge Oct. 4, 2018, Nigerien Air Base 101, Niger. More than 100 service members participated in the challenge to honor the sacrifice and commitment of the U.S. Soldiers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman)

The Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge consisted of a 5K with four workout stations representing each of the members of Team Ouallam along the way. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Devin Kennedy, 768th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician, performs lunges during the Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge Oct. 4, 2018. At four stations along the 5K route participants were to complete up-downs, lunges, air squats, and push-ups. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman)

The Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge consisted of a 5K with four workout stations representing each of the members of Team Ouallam along the way. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman

Members of the German military cross the finish line of the Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge Oct. 4, 2018, Nigerien Air Base 101, Niger. The challenge consisted of a 5K with four workout stations representing each of the members of Team Ouallam along the way. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman)

The Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge consisted of a 5K with four workout stations representing each of the members of Team Ouallam along the way. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman

Participants do squats at the opening station during the Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge Oct. 4, 2018, Nigerien Air Base 101, Niger. Members of the 768th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron and AOB Sahel as well as French, Italian and German service members participated in the memorial event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman)

The Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge consisted of a 5K with four workout stations representing each of the members of Team Ouallam along the way. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman

Service members at Nigerien Air Base 101 begin the Tongo Tongo Memorial Challenge at Nigerien Air Base 101, Niamey, Niger, Oct. 4, 2018. At four stations along the 5K route participants were to complete up-downs, lunges, air squats, and push-ups. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Coleman)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The 768th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron and 724th EABS hosted memorial challenges to honor four U.S. Soldiers Oct. 4 at Nigerien Air Base 101, Niamey, Niger, and Nigerien Air Base 201, Agadez, Niger respectively.

Approximately 150 service members, to include U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy personnel, as well as French, Italian and German service members participated in the challenge held on the anniversary of the attack. The challenge was a 5K with four stations along the route where participants completed exercises.

While the challenge differed slightly between the Niamey and Agadez air bases, the basic concept was the same - four exercises in honor of each member were to be completed throughout the course.

“While we were not Team Ouallam, we were Team Ouallam's headquarters,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Preston, 768th EABS commander. “It was an emotional event, very personal and very involved for this community.”

According to Preston, the event was a wonderful display of partnership, brotherhood, and fraternity within the profession of arms across the participating nations.

“I’m proud of our Airmen, I’m proud of service members, the international community, and events like this…the opportunity to participate and lead in this environment is refreshing and a pretty great privilege,” said Preston.

A U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. serving Special Operations Command Africa as a Ground Surgical Team member led the coordination effort at Nigerien Air Base 101, as a liaison between the Air Force and Special Operations communities to ensure the intent of the challenge was met.

“What we decided was to keep it simple, but challenge people to sort of symbolize the challenges those four Soldiers faced. I wanted to put people in that mindset of challenge,” she said.

Along with the exercises, each station was marked with one of the names of Team Ouallam — Sgt. 1st Class Jeramiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Sgt. La David Johnson, a somber reminder along the way.

“To the families and friends of the fallen — we haven’t forgotten and it’s an honor to serve,” Preston said.

U.S. Forces are in Niger to work by, with, and through Nigerien partners to promote stability and security while enabling them to address security threats. U.S. forces do this through a variety of security forces assistance programs, including training and equipping Nigerien counterterrorism forces. U.S. forces also do this by advising and assisting partner forces in conducting counterterrorism operations.