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Weapons crews compete for load crew of the year
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --Senior Airman Alex Pritchard, left, inspects Staff Sgt. Roger Roscoe as he prepares a joint direct attack munition during the weapons load crew of the year competition Dec. 14. Three teams competed for the annual award after winning a quarterly competition. Pritchard is a weapons load evaluator with the 3rd Maintenance Operations Squadron and Roscoe is an aircraft armament systems specialist with the 525th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Cynthia Spalding)
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Weapons crews compete for load crew of the year

Posted 1/5/2012   Updated 1/6/2012 Email story   Print story


by Air Force Staff Sgt. Cynthia Spalding
JBER Public Affairs

1/5/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- With another year gone, three more weapons load crews competed in the 3rd Wing Load Crew of the Year competition Dec. 14.

Each participating crew trained continuously throughout the year, first earning best load crew in their squadron, then winning the quarterly award competition. The three load crews are made of three-Airman teams.

The crews were, listed in performance order: from the 525th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Air Force Staff Sgt. Roger Roscoe, Senior Airman Damian Herbert and Airman 1st Class Craig Edwick. The 90th Aircraft Maintenance Unit had two teams compete, Tech. Sgt. Kimmie Samuel, Senior Airman Wesley Beversdorf and Senior Airman Caleb Hill. Also from the 90th AMU, was the team that won the load crew of the quarter hosted Dec. 9, Air Force Staff Sgt. Jamie Dugan, Senior Airman Colleen McMillian and Airman 1st Class Joshua Schmidt.

"I was very honored to participate in the Weapons Load Crew of the Year competition," Herbert said. "The candidates this year were excellent crews to load up against. No matter what the outcome is, it was fun and exciting. It will be nerve racking to wait and find out who wins in the middle of next year."

"Within the weapons community Air Force wide, we are a tight (career field), and the key morale events are the load crew competitions," said Chief Master Sgt. Eric McGowan, 3rd Wing weapons manager.

Roscoe said the event was a culmination of a year's training and labor.

"Load comp is what we work for all year; it is the sum of all of our hard work," he said.
The selection starts within the AMU's, with flight chiefs evaluating load crews duty performance, dress and appearance, and weapons standardization stats. Then each AMU will select their best crew to compete in the load crew of the quarter, which progresses throughout the year for load crew of the year. The load crews competing get support from their supervisors, officers in charge and commander's making the overall competition a team effort.

"That's one side of it. The logistics of putting the whole thing together comes from the men and women of the Weapons Standardization, without these professionals our competitions wouldn't be a success," McGowan said. "As the wing weapons manager, I'm proud of all our 3rd Wing 'load toads'."

This year's annual winner will be announced at the maintenance award banquet hosted in May.

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