SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. –
The 2011 edition of Air Mobility Rodeo, sponsored by the Air Mobility Command, is set to take place July 24 to 29 at McChord Field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and the team from Joint Base Charleston is prepped and eager for the competition to begin.
Rodeo is a readiness competition that "focuses on improving our worldwide air mobility forces' professional core abilities," AMC officials said. More than 150 teams and 3,000 people from the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and allied nations are expected to participate.
"I think we have an excellent chance of bringing home a trophy," said Lt. Col. Brady Caldwell, 437th Airlift Wing Rodeo Team chief. "The entire team is excited about the chance to show off their skills and the opportunity to represent Team Charleston and the entire Lowcountry."
The 52 members of Team Charleston come from the 437 AW and 628th Air Base Wing and consist of the competitors, air crew, air-drop inspectors, Airmen from the maintenance and aerial port squadrons as well as umpires and JB CHS civic leaders.
History shows that Rodeo began in October 1956. At that time, 13 troop carrier wings of the Continental Air Command, the Air Force Reserve Command's predecessor, sent crews to participate in a "Reserve Troop Carrier Rodeo" at Bakalar Air Force Base, Ind. The first airdrop competition for units of the active-duty force occurred in April 1962, when the Military Air Transport Service held a MATS-wide Rodeo at Scott AFB, Ill.
The 1962 Rodeo competition was a combat skills competition designed to develop and improve techniques and procedures while enhancing air mobility operations, and promoting esprit de corps.
In 1979, Rodeo was expanded to include international air mobility partners.
"Rodeo tests the flight and ground skills of aircrews as well as the related skills of special tactics, security forces, aerial port operations, aeromedical evacuation, and maintenance team members," the competition fact sheet states. "It also provides valuable joint and combined training for all participants."
"It's not all work though," Caldwell said. "Every team also sets up a hospitality tent where competitors and their support teams can socialize. The tents are stocked with food and drinks that are representative of the region the team is from. We'll have some good Lowcountry cooking and beverages available for people to enjoy."
The last Rodeo competition took place in July 2009 at McChord. For more information, see the Air Mobility Rodeo 2011 fact sheet at http://www.amc.af.mil/amc/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=18488.