446th getting ready to compete at Rodeo

By 446th PAO on June 21, 2011

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Air Mobility Command's Rodeo competition is approaching fast and the Reservists of the 446th Airlift Wing's Rodeo team are ready to fly, fight and win.

AMC's Rodeo is July 23-29 here. Teams from across the United States, active-duty, Reserve, Guard and sister services, and foreign air force teams will assemble at McChord field for the bi-annual competition. Before the competition week, AMC will host an Aeromedical Evacuation and En Route Care Symposium, and an Airdrop Symposium.

Rodeo is a chance to demonstrate Air Force mobility capabilities, test and refine new procedures, tactics and concepts that improve mission results, promote international relations in a friendly, competitive environment and enhance esprit de corps by recognizing crew and unit professionalism and outstanding performance.

The 446th AW will field five teams lead by team chief Lt. Col. Hans Bley: aircrew, aerial port, maintenance, security forces, and aeromedical.

The Rodeo Team (minus the security forces) left today for Moses Lake, Wash., for a week to train for the event.

"All the teams will have full days and will get some great training accomplished," said Colonel Bley. "I am looking forward to getting the team together (away from home station), building some camaraderie and focusing solely on Rodeo."

The aircrew team will consist of Lt. Col. Derek Leckrone, Maj. Kevin Peterson, Capt. Patrick Hancock, and Master Sgt. Robert Bertsch. The team will compete in airdrop (personnel, heavy equipment, container delivery system), assault landings, backing/combat offload, engine running onload/offload, and aerial refueling receiver events.

The aerial port team is made up of Tech Sgts. Kathleen Myhre and Joshua Warbiany, and Senior Airmen Eric Gregory, Christopher Griffen, and Janelle Marshall. This team will participate in seven events: engine running onload/offload, 10K forklift, 25K Halverson, pallet build-up, joint inspection, in transit visibility, and a challenge course.

The aeromedical team is comprised of Capt. Jason Cross, Lt. Catherine Carroll, Staff Sgt. Krystal Reinstadler, and Senior Airmen Dylan Congrove and Marcello Yamaguchi. The team's events are aeromedical contingency flight and aeromedical configurations.

The security forces team will compete in combat tactics, combat challenge course, and combat weapons. The team is Tech. Sgt. Pierce Christopher, Staff Sgts. David Buchanan and Damon Hahn, and Senior Airman Gregory Griffen.

The SFS team has been running each day in preparation for Rodeo, with plans to run further distances as the competition draws near and sharpen their arms skills.

"We have a lot of range time planned and our ongoing motto of 'Aim Small...Miss Small," is going to get us to where we need to be, come competition day," said Sergeant Pierce.

The 2009 446th AW SFS team took home the trophy for Best Security Forces Team.

"The guys are looking forward to finally making it to competition and trying to take another trophy home," said Sergeant Pierce.

The largest team making up the 446th Airlift Wing is the maintenance team. The team will compete in events pre-flight maintenance, post flight maintenance, refueling, and compete for the Knuckle Buster Award. Team members are: Senior Master Sgt. Tungyoga Monroe, Master Sgts. Kurt Ertel, Devin Eierman, John Gan, and Randy Wentz, Tech. Sgts. Heribert Maldonado, Jeffery Reinke, David Timney, Juan Duran, Eric Martin, and Eric Matteson, and Staff Sgt. Kimberly Shadlow.

In over 50 years, Rodeo has never strayed from its core mission: creating training scenarios with concrete operational impact while at the same time developing ever-closer relationships with staunch international allies who continue to help us fight and win. By participating in Rodeo, all aspects of aerial refueling and airlift/airdrop, aeromedical evacuation, and security forces are showcased, capabilities demonstrated, procedures improved, techniques compared, and consistency enhanced for worldwide operations.