Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

July 19, 2011 at 12:49pm

McChord teams get fired up for Rodeo

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- The tents are built, the signs are hung, and with Rainier Ranch construction almost complete, the combined 62nd Airlift Wing and 627th Air Base Group RODEO team is ready for action.

"One of the things we might forget about during RODEO is that we are not only a host, but a competitor as well," said Col. R. Wyn Elder, 62nd AW commander, at a team introduction on July 8. "And our team is ready to win!"

The Air Force held its first RODEO in 1956 to showcase the reliability and capability of cargo planes. The bi-annual competition has grown to encompass all aspects of Air Mobility Command, including aerial port, aeromedical evacuation, maintenance, security forces, and for the first time, financial management.

"We've been practicing Self-Aid and Buddy Care, running through financial scenarios and even some M-16 and M-9 training," said Tech. Sgt. Kerry Robinson, financial management team chief. "Our team is more than ready!"

Each team prepares for different RODEO competitions. The financial management team will compete in performance-based scenarios, small arms and a fitness course. The aerial port team will compete in engine running on and offload, challenge course, 10k forklift driving and pallet buildup competitions. The aircrew team will compete in the airdrop, air refueling and joint airdrop inspection events.

"To prepare for RODEO, we did some off-station training last weekend, which included various low-level flying drills and air drops," said Maj. Scott Huffstetler, aircrew team chief. "My team is prepared and we're looking forward to the competition."

The maintenance team will be competing in daily pre- and post-flight observations and refueling events. The security forces team will be competing in combat tactics, combat weapons and combat endurance events.

"This team represents you and what this installation does every single day," said Colonel Elder. "Thank you for all the hard work you've done while preparing for this event."

The 2009 wing RODEO team brought home five awards. They included the best post-flight team, best aerial port challenge course team, best C-17 Globemaster III team, best airdrop team and, the competition's top award, best air mobility wing. This year, the teams hope to build on those accomplishments and take the lessons they've learned back to hone their skills.

"We are so proud of you," said Colonel Elder to the team at the end of the introductions. "We look forward to bringing home those trophies."

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