Load crew training showcased during Kunsan competition
It's not exactly a sport or traditional training. A load competition is a combination of both, and the 80th Aircraft Maintenance unit and 35th AMU battled it out Dec. 20, 2013, here, to be named the best load crew of the quarter.
Quarterly load competitions are sponsored by the 8th Maintenance Squadron Weapons Standardization Section and are held not only for training, but also to build esprit de corps, according to event organizers.
"Today is a reflection of the ideas, methods and training we (the Weapon Standardization Section) teach the load crews and it's also for bragging rights" said Staff Sgt. James Burgos, 8th MXS WSS.
Taking what they had learned and practiced from the WSS, the three-man load crews loaded a guided bomb unit-38, air intercept missile-9x and AIM-120 with a time limit of 35 minutes.
"We were really prepared," said Senior Airman Stephen Jervis, 80th AMU. "We spent hours going over our routine, reading our technical orders and getting pumped for it."
Even though the competition is timed and the overall goal is to get the weapons on the jet, crews were also graded on much more. The WSS inspectors looked at the crews' ability to follow technical orders, their tool kit layout, safety reliability and dress and appearance.
Jervis knew that his opposition was as ready as he was but also enjoyed fueling the rivalry between the two squadrons.
"It's good to have these competitions because I see how well they compare to us," said Jervis.
Yet, like the rest of the Wolf Pack, it takes a trained team relying on each other to complete the mission.
"If things go bad, I know that they can get bombs on jets as well as we can," said Jervis.
The WSS is glad they could train Airmen to be ready to fight tonight, said Burgos. Yet the competition ended with the 80th AMU finishing first and the final score will not be revealed until next year.