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PACAF, ROKAF weapons load teams go head-to-head in annual competition

The 2017 annual weapons load crew competition begins at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The competition 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 is the first time Kunsan Air Base hosted a load crew competition that included members not stationed in Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

The 2017 annual weapons load crew competition begins at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The competition 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 is the first time Kunsan Air Base hosted a load crew competition that included members not stationed in Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 35th, 14th, and 80th Aircraft Maintenance Units stand in front of three F-16 Fighting Falcons before the start of the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The annual load competition tests objectives like safety, speed, and cleanliness to enhance PACAF’s and ROKAF’s mission of always being ready to fight tonight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 35th, 14th, and 80th Aircraft Maintenance Units stand in front of three F-16 Fighting Falcons before the start of the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The annual load competition tests objectives like safety, speed, and cleanliness to enhance PACAF’s and ROKAF’s mission of always being ready to fight tonight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force load crew members from Misawa Air Base carry a bomb toward an F-16 Fighting Falcon while an evaluator observes during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017.  Kunsan, Osan, and Misawa Air Base Airmen participated in this year’s weapons load competition, making it one of the largest weapons load competitions ever hosted by Kunsan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force load crew members from Misawa Air Base carry a bomb toward an F-16 Fighting Falcon while an evaluator observes during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. Kunsan, Osan, and Misawa Air Base Airmen participated in this year’s weapons load competition, making it one of the largest weapons load competitions ever hosted by Kunsan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Rhaymark Neri, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member, raises a bomb in place while Staff Sgt. Dylan Ducharme, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member, observes and guides the bomb into place during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The annual load competition tests objectives like safety, speed, and cleanliness to enhance PACAF’s and ROKAF’s mission of always being ready to fight tonight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Rhaymark Neri, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member, raises a bomb in place while Staff Sgt. Dylan Ducharme, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member, observes and guides the bomb into place during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The annual load competition tests objectives like safety, speed, and cleanliness to enhance PACAF’s and ROKAF’s mission of always being ready to fight tonight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Osan Air Base, secure a bomb to an F-16 Fighting Falcon while evaluators observed and took notes during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition on Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. This friendly competition tested the capabilities and efficiency of U.S. and ROKAF load crew teams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Osan Air Base, secure a bomb to an F-16 Fighting Falcon while evaluators observed and took notes during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition on Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. This friendly competition tested the capabilities and efficiency of U.S. and ROKAF load crew teams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Ducharme, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member, reaches for a tool during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The annual load competition tests objectives like safety, speed, and cleanliness to enhance PACAF’s and ROKAF’s mission of always being ready to fight tonight.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Ducharme, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew member, reaches for a tool during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The annual load competition tests objectives like safety, speed, and cleanliness to enhance PACAF’s and ROKAF’s mission of always being ready to fight tonight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

Republic of Korea Air Force airmen secure a bomb to an F-16 Fighting Falcon during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. Kunsan hosted the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition, which included members from the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, 80th AMU, and 38th Fighter Group, Republic of Korea Air Force, located here, the 25th and 36th AMUs, from Osan Air Base, and the 14th AMU, from Misawa Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

Republic of Korea Air Force airmen secure a bomb to an F-16 Fighting Falcon during the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. Kunsan hosted the 2017 annual weapons load crew competition, which included members from the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, 80th AMU, and 38th Fighter Group, Republic of Korea Air Force, located here, the 25th and 36th AMUs, from Osan Air Base, and the 14th AMU, from Misawa Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Andreous Madrid, Senior Airman Zachary Ward, Airman 1st Class Zackary Lau, the 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew, Osan Air Base, are recognized as the winners of the 2017 annual load competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017.  The 36th AMU beat out four other PACAF units and a ROKAF unit for the title. This was the first time Kunsan Air Base hosted a load crew competition that included members not stationed in Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Andreous Madrid, Senior Airman Zachary Ward, Airman 1st Class Zackary Lau, the 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew, Osan Air Base, are recognized as the winners of the 2017 annual load competition at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 13, 2017. The 36th AMU beat out four other PACAF units and a ROKAF unit for the title. This was the first time Kunsan Air Base hosted a load crew competition that included members not stationed in Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

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.

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.”

This was the first time Kunsan Air Base hosted a load crew competition that included members not stationed in Korea.

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.”