Tuesday, March 23, 2010

75th AMU dominates weapons load competition

Released today by 23rd Wing Public Affairs:

by Senior Airman Frances Locquiao
23rd Wing Public Affairs

3/22/2010 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Two 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crews from the 74th and 75th Aircraft Maintenance Units recently competed to be named the best weapons load crew for 2009.

Tech. Sgt. Shawn Burchfield, Senior Airman Edwin Lopez and Senior Airman Casey Allen of the 75th AMU proved they were the "best of the best," finishing four minutes before the 74th AMU with minor discrepancies.

"Both teams performed very well," said Tech. Sgt. Gorski, Weapons Standardization Section load standardization crew member. "It was a close competition, but the 75th AMU clearly showed that they were the top crew."

Before the load-off began, the load crews underwent a 25-question job knowledge test, toolbox inspection and uniform inspection.

After the test and inspections, the load crews had a chance to inspect their A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft and munitions to be loaded.

When the mistress of ceremony announced that the competition was soon to begin, the load crews stood in front of the crowd at parade rest.

For the competition, crews needed to install seven bombs and two missiles onto their aircraft in the allotted 45 minutes.

Two load standardization crew members were assigned to evaluate each team.

"We ensure each team is following procedures, checklists and technical orders," said Sergeant Gorski. "Each crew must complete their tasks with safety in mind and all their munitions must be fastened properly."

The 74th and 75th AMU began with 1,500 points and points are deducted for every discrepancy observed.

"The goal for our crew was to quickly and safely load all the munitions with no demerits," said Sergeant Burchfield, 75th AMU load crew leader. "We referred to our checklists and technical orders as often as possible and double-checked all our procedures just to make sure we were on point."

Sergeant Burchfield says that his team's confidence in what they do is what motivated them to win.

"We never once looked over to the other team's side," said Sergeant Burchfield. "All we concentrated on was completing our task. It was my first time participating for the annual competition, but it's what I do so I was not nervous at all."

Because of their hard work and dedication, the 75th AMU earned a travelling trophy to place in their unit's display case.

"The weapons load crew competition is held annually and quarterly and is a great incentive and recognition program," said Sergeant Gorski. "It also gives crews a chance to earn bragging rights and the motivation to win other competitions."

Teams who are eligible to compete quarterly must not have failed monthly evaluations throughout a quarter. Teams who win quarterly competitions are eligible to participate in the annual competition.


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