by Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Staff Sergeants Christopher DeGrizio (left) and Brian Crews, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit load crew members, work together to load a GBU-38 on an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the 4th quarter load crew competition here Jan. 20, 2012. The three-man team competed against the 36th AMU and won. They now compete against other load crews at U.S. Air Force bases in the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek) Hi-res
1/24/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Two weapons loading teams competed against each other during the 4th quarter load crew competition here Jan. 20.
A three-person weapons load crew team under the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit loaded munitions onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II while another team under the 36th AMU loaded an F-16 Fighting Falcon during the competition.
"These two teams were the top-rated loaders for this quarter," said Senior Airman Jonathan Eusebio, 51st Maintenance Operations Squadron load crew trainer. "They had the greatest statistics from their individual squadrons, and now they are competing for the top spot for the base."
These competitions are always open for squadrons to watch as their top Airmen vie for the trophy, but the actual load is only a minor portion. The competitors also prepare for a written examination and a dress and appearance evaluation, Eusebio explained. Safety standards are extremely important in this type of environment, especially when teams are being graded for speed and accuracy.
Munitions loaders prepare the aircraft for combat, and working together as a team is a must in this high-stress environment, said Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Calvert, 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit load crew member. Load crew members here practice day in and day out because they support the mission to continue to protect the Republic of Korea.
Even though a lot of pressure goes into the competition, it's all worth it to competitors, said Staff Sgt. Brian Crews, 25th AMU load crew member.
"This is my first competition and I'm ecstatic," he said. "We all know our jobs and it's great to be recognized in an organization like this."
"These competitions showcase our combat capabilities, improve morale and shows off their hard work," Eusebio said. "We are ready to fight tonight."
The 25th AMU took the lead in the competition for all categories. Team members include Staff Sergeants Dorinda Becker, Christopher DeGrizio and Crews. The winners will be submitted to compete against other Air Force bases in the Pacific.
Senior Master Sgt. James Faucette, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons superintendent, performs dress and appearance inspections on the 25th AMU load crew team during the 4th quarter competition here Jan. 20, 2012. The 25th AMU won the competition and will go on to compete against other loaders in the Pacific Air Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres) Hi-res
Please note: This photo includes Staff Sgt. Dorinda Becker, the third member of the team.
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