King brings home crown Published June 13, 2010 By SSgt Alicia Goldberger 176th Wing Public Affairs KULIS ANG BASE, Alaska -- Maj. Rebecca King, deputy commander of the J6 Section at Joint Force Headquarters - Alaska and the 176th Wing's former executive officer, took first place in the women's sprint race at the Chief National Guard Biathlon Championships in March at Camp Ripley, Minn. Biathlon combines Nordic freestyle skiing and rifle marksmanship. Competitors cross-country ski for a distance, stopping periodically at a firing range to shoot a series of five targets at 50 meters. "Biathlon provides a great opportunity for soldiers and airmen to compete and promote fitness and shooting skills while showcasing the National Guard to the public," King about said. The National Guard Biathlon program promotes team and individual competition between National Guard members and serves as a significant recruiting and retention platform. National Guard Biathlon has a long history of supporting and developing biathletes, who in turn have been accepted into the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) and raced in World Cup and Olympic biathlon events. The program is designed to motivate guardsmen, instill pride and encourage fitness. Most competitions are also open to civilians, providing community awareness of what their citizen soldiers and airmen are doing in today's National Guard. By virtue of her first-place finish, King will next compete in an upcoming international competition in Chile. Through international competition, biathlon is another tool available to promote nation-building efforts for the United States. "For me, it's really important to keep yourself fit and healthy. Competing is an easy way to motivate myself to best serve the State of Alaska and our nation," said King. "If you want to take advantage of the National Guard Biathlon, you have to join the National Guard --Army or Air," said Lt. Col. Ed Soto, commander of the 176th Civil Engineer Squadron and Alaska state coordinator for biathlon. The program combines fitness, marksmanship and nation-building in a joint environment - all attributes that are required of successful leaders in today's military environment, Soto said. For more information about National Guard Biathlon, call 802-899-7120 or Lt. Col. Soto at 907-249-1381.