KABUL, Afghanistan — Members of the Deputy Command of Support Operations working at Camp Eggers, many of them deployed from Fort Hood’s 13th Sustainment Command, came together Oct. 28 for a Halloween “SPOoktacular.”

This month’s team building competition focused on Halloween-themed events including pumpkin carving, a two-minute toilet paper mummy making contest and “Horror Movie Jeopardy.”

The six teams organized from the various staff sections received their pumpkins 24 hours before judging. Each section had the opportunity to present two pumpkins that were judged based on overall appearance, originality, technical difficulty of executing the design and popular vote. The “Ciphers,” an impromptu band made up of some musically talented members of deputy command and two volunteer British soldiers provided entertainment between events.

“I think this event was a brilliant success. Everybody seemed very happy to share these good times. The decoration was really amazing,” said French army Maj. Guillaume Allaire, deputy command future operations policy officer.

“When you are deployed for a long time, you need to create some opportunities to enforce the way the members of the unit stick together, both in combatant units and support units,” Allaire said.

We are all in Afghanistan to conduct the same mission, he said. “A team-building event like (this) affords all of us to strengthen our cohesion; helps us carry out our mission with a better spirit.”

The event was fun and memorable, said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Lenita F. Cornett, the operational contract support noncommissioned officer in charge, who is one of the 13th Sustainment soldiers. She was one of the vocalists in the band. She thinks events like this bring everyone together to socialize, allow people to take a break and also provide them the opportunity to meet new people.

Allaire said his unit in France also has team-building events, usually including a sporting event, some sort of a ceremony and a good French dinner where they sing a lot of military songs. Some of these team building events are centered on significant historic dates.

“For example, as a paratrooper, I celebrate the St. Michael’s Day (Sept. 29) because he’s our protector. And as former cadet of Military Academy of Saint-Cyr, I celebrate the victory of Austerlitz (Dec. 2) because it’s the first battle during which Saint Cyr’s cadets were fallen,” he said.

Allaire also said that Halloween is not widely celebrated in France. The experience was somewhat new to him. He was amazed by the pumpkins the teams carved.

“I truly enjoyed the tremendous performance of the ‘well-known’ ‘Ciphers.’ But I also think that many guys of (deputy command) have hidden talents; some of the carved pumpkins deserve to be exhibited in the Louvre or the Smithsonian museums, among other works of art,” he said.

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