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Rodeo recount gives McChord C-17 title

Error isolated to C-17 Container Delivery System airdrop scores

Representatives from the 62nd Airlift Wing/627th Air Base Group Rodeo combination team poses with its Rodeo trophies on board a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft this week. /Airman 1st Class Leah Young

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Discovery of a programming error in the Air Mobility Rodeo scoring system has the 62nd Airlift Wing/627th Air Base Group Rodeo combo team winning Best C-17 Wing.

"This is great news!" said Col. R. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "Our Airmen work hard every day to provide the best combat airlift in the world and it's an honor for them to be recognized at the premier mobility competition in the world for their outstanding work. The fact that the combined 62AW/627ABG team was able to win "Best C-17 Wing" at a joint base is a testament to the teamwork our Airmen demonstrate every single day throughout the world. "

The programming error, isolated to the C-17 and C-130 Container Delivery System airdrop scores, was discovered Aug. 18 by Air Mobility Command officials and changed the results of several major awards.

"There is an automated process in the scoring algorithm which improperly assigned a median score for an event," said Maj. Gen. Frederick H. Martin, AMC director of operations and Rodeo commander.

"This program error was not found in testing," said Martin. "All manual scoring processes were triple checked; however, there was not a final check for one critical portion of the automated scoring processes."

Best C-17 Wing was incorrectly awarded to the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Okla. The 97th AMW actually finished in second place.

"It feels really good," said Maj. Scott Huffstetler, aircrew team chief.  "We were all disappointed when the results first came out, but knowing all of the hard work and effort on everyone's part that went into this, finding out now that we won is really exciting."

During Rodeo the combo team also walked away with additional awards not affected by the error including another major award, Best Aerial Port Team, as well as the Best C-17 Preflight trophy and the Best In-Transit Visibility team.

"We can't forget that we have over 500 Airmen deployed around the globe right now defending our nation. This award is just as much a statement about the quality of their work as it is the competition itself," said Elder. "Team McChord prides itself on being the best mobility Airmen every day - not just at the Rodeo competition. Colonel Hasberry and Chief Warren and I are so proud of our Airmen!"

"This is a very unfortunate programming mistake," Martin said. "I will tell you that all of the competitors at Rodeo were outstanding. The scoring was very close, and it was obvious that the best-of-the-best were competing. This scoring error should in no way detract from the incredible efforts our mobility forces put forward every day to ensure mission accomplishment."

Martin said actions have been taken to prevent this type of issue from happening in 2013.

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