The Leadership Las Cruces group pose with Staff Sgt. Charlie Alcantara, right standing, with the 3-6 Air and Missile Defense Test Detachment at WSMR, Spc. Trentin Cowell, bottom right, and CW2 Lionell Anderson, fourth from right kneeling, all of whom led the Modern Army Combatives Program training with exercises on self-defense May 17.

Leadership Las Cruces group gets physical at WSMR

The Leadership Las Cruces group got physical while learning about leadership and team building during their visit to White Sands Missile Range May 17.

The group, a professional development program sponsored by the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, started the day off with a lesson in self-defense with the Modern Army Combatives Program.

Staff Sgt. Charlie Alcantara, with the 3-6 Air and Missile Defense Test Detachment at WSMR, Spc. Trentin Cowell and CW2 Lionell Anderson led the training with exercises on self-defense to include learning that the number one method of self-defense is running away.

The group then moved on to a lesson on rappelling, where some of the participants got creative coming down the rappel tower with the help of WSMR rappel masters Ed Taitano and Ed Stahl.

During lunch at the Frontier Club, WSMR Command Sgt. Maj. Michael S. Cordery welcomed the group and talked about the relationship between WSMR and the surrounding communities. He then answered questions about leadership, recruiting, testing at WSMR and the future of the Army.

At the end of lunch, he invited everyone to the upcoming Army Ball scheduled for June 8 at WSMR.

Participant Diana Peru, with Holiday Inn Express North, said the event was great.

“We enjoyed the warm welcome that WSMR brings to the group,” Peru said. “This morning’s self-defense lesson was amazing, and everyone had a great experience team building. It was challenging and gave us confidence.”

Gabe Jacquez, Deputy Superintendent for Operations and Leadership at the Las Cruces Public Schools, said the day’s events were awesome.

“Today we got a chance to experience something I’ve never experienced before. We got to do combat self defense training and rappelling. This has been an awesome experience and a great leadership development training.”

He said the rappelling served as both a confidence building exercise as well as team building for the Leadership Las Cruces team.

WSMR Operations Specialist Josie Tate organized the day’s events.

Miriam Rodriguez

WSMR Public Affairs