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NEWS | April 14, 2019

315 AW paper airplanes take flight at JB Charleston

By Staff Sgt. Della Creech 315th Airlift Wing

The 315th Airlift Wing and Red Bull hosted the Red Bull Paper Wings competition April 13, 2019, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. The event was a local qualifier for the Red Bull Paper Wings World Final at Salzburg, Austria, set to take place this May.

"Events like this gets everyone out of the office to really be able to laugh with one another and enjoy the company of your wingman, or in this case, laugh at them," said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Trotter, a maintainer with the 315th Maintenance Squadron.

Many JB Charleston Airmen came out to show their skills for a chance of winning a spot to compete as a professional paper-airplane engineer, hoping to qualify to compete in the World Final.

Senior Airman Justin Lacefield, an aerospace propulsion specialist with the 437th Maintenance Squadron, said, "It's a great feeling to have an uneventful day and then show up to win a competition!"

Airmen and leadership alike tried their skills in the competition and were able to flex their paper-airplane design talents. It was an excellent opportunity for JB Charleston to enjoy team-building, comradery and one another's company.

"My chief came out to support us in a unique and fun way, that was a huge morale boost," said Staff Sgt. Danny Beckwith, a crew chief with the 476th Maintenance Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Beckwith drills with the 315th Aircraft Mantenance Squadron here.

While in line to try their odds, Airmen spoke of similar on-base events that drew them out to the competition.

"This event reminds me of old times when we used to do team-building activities all the time," said Tech. Sgt. Mike Bouis, a fuels specialist with the 315th Logistics Readiness Squadron. Bouis has been a part of the Charleston team for over 25 years.

With the help of the staff members, who had folded their fair share of paper airplanes, there were two categories of distance and aerobatics for participants to enter. Most staff members had never interacted with the military community and were excited to see the event come together.

One sponsor staff member said, "From someone who isn't familiar with the military, this event shows what a big family it is here."

After a C-17 Globemaster III orientation flight and base tour, visiting Clemson University ROTC Cadets joined the festivities to show off the future of the Air Force.

"This event makes me very excited to commission into the Air Force," said Vince Szczepanik, a participant and ROTC cadet from Clemson University.

All in all, the competition brought future Airmen and seasoned veterans together for a fun-filled evening.

"On-base events like these bring us together," said Staff Sgt. Edward Mims, a fuels journeyman with the 315th LRS. "What we do here is more than just work; we're an Air Force family."