Ready for Rodeo at McChord?

By Airman Leah Young/62nd Airlift Wing on July 3, 2011

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- Airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing, 446th AW and 627th Air Base Group have begun preparing 'Rainier Ranch' to host the multitude of United States and International teams when they arrive at the end of the month.

The installation will host Air Mobility Command RODEO 2011, and competition is set to take place from July 23 to 29. McChord Field's Heritage Hill, with the addition of dozens of tents and a few hundred barrels of hay, is quickly being transformed into Rainier Ranch.

"Rainier Ranch is where all competitors for the upcoming Air Mobility Command RODEO will gather and celebrate their victories and console each other in their losses during the competition," said Master Sgt. Steve Stone, 627th Civil Engineering Squadron/Department of Public Works operations superintendent.

The international competition focuses on readiness, and features airdrops, aerial refueling and other events which showcase the unique and wide-ranging capabilities of military security forces, and aerial port, maintenance and aeromedical evacuation personnel.

"Every single Airman from the civil engineering squadron is out here with gloves on, helping us prepare for RODEO," said Sergeant Stone. "We also have Air Force Academy cadets, Airmen from the aircraft maintenance squadron and a handful of Reservists. It truly is a joint effort."

Construction began June 20 and Rainier Ranch should be ready to go by the second week of July. According to Sergeant Stone, it's one of the best things about RODEO.

"Each evening, this place will come alive with live music, fire pits and volleyball matches," he said. "Basically, it's just a good time with our brothers and sisters in arms from all around the world."