JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. –
More than 30 Airmen from Joint Base Charleston witness the opening ceremony of Air Mobility Rodeo 2011, July 24, 2011, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Approximately 150 teams and 3,000 people from across the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and allied nations are participating in a five-day air mobility competition focusing on improving our worldwide air mobility forces' professional core abilities.
Team Charleston's Rodeo team has been preparing for the Rodeo for six months, working longer hours, improving their skills and building a team who work well together.
"All of the preparation, dedication and sweat that our team has put forth will stand out in every individual competition during the Rodeo," said Lt. Col. Brady Caldwell, 437th Airlift Wing Rodeo team lead.
During the opening ceremony Team Charleston stood out with black Charleston Rodeo team hats, t-shirts and arm patches which all had a western theme symbolizing the competiveness of Rodeo.
"Although we came here to win and give it our all, we are also here to build camaraderie within our team and other bases; learn different techniques on how others perform certain tasks; and share with our international partners the importance of having an efficient air mobility force," Caldwell said.
Tech. Sgt. Jessy Martin, a crew chief from the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is representing Joint Base Charleston for his second Rodeo.
"I'm really looking forward to this year's competition because of all the preparation we have put in," Martin said. "We have learned from the previous Rodeo and have made some adjustments. I think we are going to do really well."
According to Martin, Air Mobility Rodeo is one of the best networking avenues to meet new people from around the world.
"I have met many people from different bases and countries during Rodeo," he said. "I'm excited to see some of my friends from the last Rodeo and meet many more."
Those new to the Rodeo like Staff Sgt. Ashley Kelly, an air transportation craftsman from the 437th Aerial Port Squadron, said they are "equally ecstatic" to be part of this year's competition.
"As soon as I was asked to be part of the Rodeo team, I knew it was an opportunity no one should pass," Kelly said.
"I'm pumped up," she said. "I can't wait to see what we can accomplish as a team and to put our practice to the test."
Team Charleston arrived at Rodeo as equals to all the other competitors, but according to Caldwell and his crew, Team Charleston will come out on top.
"We want to show the world what Joint Base Charleston is capable of accomplishing," Caldwell said. "We will do our best and hopefully take home some bragging rights."
Though Caldwell is the lead of his team, he couldn't have prepared the team by himself, he said.
"I would like to thank the members of Team Charleston, the Rodeo team members, the civic leaders who help support us and the commanders who lead us to greatness," Caldwell said. "We are looking forward to this year's Rodeo, and are all proud to represent the premier C-17 base in the world."