Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

March 13, 2013 at 12:21pm

Air Rodeo Canceled

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Air Mobility Command announced today that Rodeo 2013, which was to take place at McChord Field in the summer, is cancelled.

Rodeo, sponsored by AMC, is the Mobility Air Force's readiness competition. Rodeo competitions are held to train and improve the abilities of U.S. and international partners' air mobility operations skills while building international relationships.

Gen. Paul Selva, AMC commander, decided this week to cancel the competition because of budget shortfalls.

"Given the fiscal uncertainty and current budget cuts, this was the right thing to do," said Selva. "It is very unfortunate we have to cancel. This is an important and uniquely useful event for mobility air forces and our international partners. We'll get back to holding Rodeo as soon as we can."

The first airdrop competition for units of the active-duty force occurred in April 1962, when the Military Air Transport Service held a MATS-wide Rodeo at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. McChord Field has been the host for the past four Rodeo competitions.

"We recognize that this decision will impact many outstanding businesses and community leaders throughout the South Sound," said Col. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "Their support for Rodeo and the competitors over the years has been outstanding. Our Airmen have benefited tremendously from the community support for decades and we sincerely hope to continue our partnerships with the community in whatever capacity possible. Simply put, we can't be successful without the support provided by our local community."

This is not the first time Rodeo has been cancelled. The two most recent examples are Rodeo 2003, which was called off because of worldwide commitments for the war on terrorism and humanitarian efforts. In 1988, it was canceled because of budget shortfalls.

Three air mobility symposia originally scheduled for the week before the competition are also canceled, officials said.

More than 20 U.S. teams and a dozen allied nations were looking to travel to Washington state in late July for Rodeo 2013 to participate in events that would challenge the capabilities of airlift and air-refueling aircrews, as well as maintenance, aerial port, and aeromedical evacuation. Those participants are being notified of the cancellation through appropriate channels, officials said.

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