JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Three Airmen from the 628th Comptroller Squadron practice once a week for the 2011 edition of Air Mobility Rodeo, sponsored by Air Mobility Command, which is set to take place July 24 to 29 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Rodeo is a readiness competition that focuses on improving worldwide air mobility forces' professional core abilities. More than 150 teams from the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and allied nations are expected to participate.
"In the past, the Rodeo has tested the mobility of aircrew, aerial port specialist, aeromedical evacuation personnel and maintenance team members, but has never incorporated comptroller personnel until this year," said Tech. Sgt. Clifton Ancrum, 628th Comptroller Squadron financial management flight noncommissioned officer in charge and finance's Rodeo team lead.
"Financial specialist from all over AMC will compete against each other in a simulated bare-base environment. We will be evaluated on starting a financial office and performing financial functions to keep the base operational."
Even though comptroller squadrons are being introduced during this year's Rodeo, they will not affect the scores of their respective base.
"We will be competing for points, but they will only be used to compare the efforts of other comptroller squadrons," Sergeant Ancrum said. "This will be a trial run for the next Rodeo, which will add 628 CPTS as part of the Joint Base Charleston Rodeo team."
According to Sergeant Ancrum, the Rodeo will test the group's ability to think on their feet in a fast paced environment.
"We are going to be trained on duties we are expected to perform at deployed locations,"
he said. "Such as covering a finance office customer service, keeping a budget on base spending, and paying off contracts from the local vendors. We work closely with base contractors and purchase necessary supplies or equipment from toilet paper and paper towels to timber and pipes for building a shower. We watch the base's budget carefully, making sure not to exceed the given amount."
Sergeant Ancrum said he doesn't really know what to expect during the Rodeo, but he and his team are practicing for any given scenario.
"The Rodeo will test our limits by giving us worse case scenarios," he said. "Such as performing our daily duties while in chemical warfare gear, taking hostile fire or even losing a team member."
The main purpose of participating in the Rodeo is to train financial specialists for real-world scenarios, Sergeant Ancrum said.
"When we deploy to hostile locations, we sometimes go outside the wire," he said. "Being part of the financial team at a deployed location can be mentally and physically challenging. We use training, like the Rodeo, to help prepare us for real world contingencies."
During the Rodeo, comptroller squadron members will even go through a physical fitness challenge course.
"The three of us are training harder physically," Sergeant Ancrum said. "We will put forth our maximum effort and reflect the greatness of JB CHS. We will bring back the knowledge gained from our experience and share it with the rest of our office."