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26 teams from six countries take part of this year's Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge. The United States of America is represented by two teams – soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the Maryland National Guard. In addition to that, some troops of the Airborne Brigade take part of the challenge as a resistance unit who act as an external enemy to the competing teams.
Specialist Dominik Vilone provides support for the Maryland National Guard team. In his opinion the recon challenge is very important for his team as their unit deals mainly with reconnaissance. In addition to that, most of their training is similar to the Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge.

"A couple of months ago we had a competition to identify the best team that could participate at the Pitka Recon Challenge," he said.

Vilone finds the cooperation with the Estonian Defense League very good and says that the organizers have been forthcoming to the team.

Private First Class Devin Pratt claims that the hardest thing about being in a resistance unit is staying awake at night. He is part of the resistance group provided by the 173rd Airborne Brigade. The days are long and since the soldiers have to patrol the roads also during the night, they are quite tired by the morning.

"We are setting up screen lines and waiting for the teams that take part in the challenge to come through, so we could catch them and take their tickets" he describes the tactics of the resistance group. Pratt has received reconnaissance training in Tapa and the competition gives him a perfect opportunity to put his knowledge to practice. In his opinion the Recon Challenge looks pretty tough and therefore he is disappointed that he couldn't take part himself. He finds the challenge as something that he would really enjoy.

Maryland National Guard has a long history dating back to 1632. Its units have taken part of most American conflicts, such as both of the World Wars, the Korean War and the Global War on Terrorism. Members of the National Guard are mainly army reservists who may be called into active duty in case of national emergencies such as natural disasters and homeland defense.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade was created during the First World War but gained fame during the Vietnam War. The Brigade's headquarters are in Italy but in Estonia the troops are stationed at Paldiski. The main organizer of the the recon challenge is the Estonian Defense League. Moreover, the event was co-organized and carried out by the Estonian Defense Forces, Erna Society, Reserve Officers Association and other organizations. A total of almost five hundred people helped organized the challenge.