Competition tests capabilities, efficiency of U.S., Republic of Korea weapons loaders
By Tech. Sgt. Jeff Andrejcik, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 13, 2017
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Kunsan hosted the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition, which included members from the 35th and 80th Aircraft Maintenance Units and the 38th Fighter Group, Republic of Korea Air Force, located here, the 25th and 36th AMUs, operating out of Osan Air Base and the 14th AMU, from Misawa Air Base. This marked the first time Kunsan hosted a load crew competition that included members not stationed in Korea.
The friendly competition tested the capabilities and efficiency of U.S. and ROKAF load crew teams.
“Events like these instill pride, motivation and esprit de corp into our teams,” said Tech. Sgt. Corey Carlson, 8th Maintenance Group loading standardization crew member. “It helps us keep a healthy work environment and enables us to do our job better.”
Load crew members from Misawa Air Base took on the role of the away team, putting their skills to the test against Kunsan, Osan and ROKAF units.
Senior Airman Vantrel England, 14th AMU weapons load crew member, described the mindset for Misawa’s team coming into the competition.
“We have been in a little drought lately with these competitions,” he said. “We are excited to be part of this, and winning is definitely something we are trying to do.”
Before the start of the event, each team and its members were introduced. Shortly after introductions, the teams were given about a minute to prepare themselves for the competition.
Once the horn sounded, teams raced to complete each of the required objectives— which included speed, cleanliness, but most importantly safety— while being evaluated by the event judges.
“Everyone performed at a high level,” said Carlson. “The scores were really close, but it was all about the attention to detail; that is how Osan pulled it out.”
Just as fast as it all started, it ended, with the 36th AMU crowned winners of the 2017 annual load competition.
“It is exhilarating to win,” said Staff Sgt. Andreous Madrid, 36th AMU weapons load crew team chief. “We came here with high expectations to do our best and be proficient, and we did just that.”