Reaper and Tiger AMU test their skills during Load Crew of the Quarter competition

Airman 1st Class Malik, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew member, attaches a safety tag on an MQ-9 Reaper July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The tag, which reads “remove before flight,” is a safety measure used by aircrews to ensure safety during each step of a munitions load. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristan Campbell/Released)

Airman 1st Class Malik, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew member, attaches a safety tag on an MQ-9 Reaper July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The tag, which reads “remove before flight,” is a safety measure used by aircrews to ensure safety during each step of a munitions load. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristan Campbell/Released)

Senior Airman Dustin, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew chief, and Airman 1st Class Gabriel, 432nd AMXS load crew member, perform a two man munitions movement July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Teams are given no knowledge of which munitions they will work with during the load, meaning that each team must visit the weapons standardization section to train and keep their skills sharpened for the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristan Campbell)

Senior Airman Dustin, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew chief, and Airman 1st Class Gabriel, 432nd AMXS load crew member, perform a two man munitions movement July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Teams are given no knowledge of which munitions they will work with during the load, meaning that each team must visit the weapons standardization section to train and keep their skills sharpened for the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristan Campbell)

Airmen from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing and 799th Air Base Group watch the start of the Load Crew of the Quarter competition July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The competition is an integral part of load crew tradition and challenges two three-man teams to see who can load munitions faster and more effectively, while also keeping safety in mind. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class James Thompson/Released)

Airmen from the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing and 799th Air Base Group watch the start of the Load Crew of the Quarter competition July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The competition is an integral part of load crew tradition and challenges two three-man teams to see who can load munitions faster and more effectively, while also keeping safety in mind. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class James Thompson/Released)

Tech Sgt. Lawrence, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew chief, reads a technical order July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Members of the 432nd AMXS are assigned to either Tiger or Reaper Aircraft Maintenance Units, each supporting training or real-time events both at home and abroad. The competition allows the units to display their skills and abilities while completing a variety of tasks, such as loading munitions and upholding safety standards. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class James Thompson/Released

Tech Sgt. Lawrence, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew chief, reads a technical order July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Members of the 432nd AMXS are assigned to either Tiger or Reaper Aircraft Maintenance Units, each supporting training or real-time events both at home and abroad. The competition allows the units to display their skills and abilities while completing a variety of tasks, such as loading munitions and upholding safety standards. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class James Thompson/Released

Airman 1st Class Gabriel, Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Unit load crew member, performs maintenance on an MQ-9 Reaper during the Load Crew of the Quarter competition July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The competition consists of two three-man crews who are responsible for loading munitions safely while under a time limit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class James Thompson/Released)

Airman 1st Class Gabriel, Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Unit load crew member, performs maintenance on an MQ-9 Reaper during the Load Crew of the Quarter competition July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The competition consists of two three-man crews who are responsible for loading munitions safely while under a time limit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class James Thompson/Released)

Airmen from the 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron stand at parade rest during the Load Crew of the Quarter competition July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Load competitions such as this are an integral part of tradition and promote camaraderie throughout the 432nd AMXS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristan Campbell/Released)

Airmen from the 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron stand at parade rest during the Load Crew of the Quarter competition July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Load competitions such as this are an integral part of tradition and promote camaraderie throughout the 432nd AMXS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristan Campbell/Released)

Airmen from the 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s Reaper Aircraft Maintenance Unit pose with leadership for a photo July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The winners of this quarter’s Load Crew of the Quarter competition are Airman are: Senior Airman Dustin, 432nd AMXS load crew chief, Airman 1st Class Malik, 432nd AMXS load crew member, and Airman 1st Class Gabriel, 432nd AMXS load crew member.

Airmen from the 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s Reaper Aircraft Maintenance Unit pose with leadership for a photo July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The winners of this quarter’s Load Crew of the Quarter competition are Airman are: Senior Airman Dustin, 432nd AMXS load crew chief, Airman 1st Class Malik, 432nd AMXS load crew member, and Airman 1st Class Gabriel, 432nd AMXS load crew member.

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada --

Load crew members from the 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) competed in a Load Crew of the Quarter competition July 1, 2016, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

 

Two three-man teams from Reaper and Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Units, which fall under the 432nd AMXS, were tasked with loading an MQ-9 Reaper with one inert AGM-114 Hellfire missile and one inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb.

 

As an integral part of load crew tradition, the friendly competition challenges the teams to see who can load munitions faster and more effectively, while keeping safety in mind.

 

"Load competitions are a great way for our weapons crews to showcase their skills while increasing unit esprit de corps,” said Col. Matthew, 432nd Maintenance Group commander. “I always look forward to seeing our maintainers and operators coming together to support our wing's load crews. In the end, it doesn’t matter which crew wins the trophy, it is all about enhancing our wing’s ability to execute the mission."

 

For each load crew competition, teams are graded on a number of factors such as loading the munitions in a set time, while committing as few discrepancies as possible. They are also graded on dress and appearance, a knowledge based test, and their composite tool kit.

 

Teams are given no knowledge of which munitions they will work with during the load. In order to prepare for the competition, loaders must visit the weapons standardization section, or load barn, in order to train and keep their skills sharpened.

 

“The competition itself was exciting,” said Airman 1st Class John, 432nd AMXS load crew competitor. “My favorite parts were the crowd, and that at the end of the day, it’s a friendly competition between Tiger and Reaper.”

 

Senior Airman Curtis, 432nd Wing Weapons Standardization load crew member, said the most challenging part about competing in Load Crew of the Quarter is loading in front of an audience, which adds extra pressure.

 

“Not only do weapons troops load safely all the time, but load comp instills a quickness to their loading,” Curtis said. “This helps while downrange when time is of the essence, to maintain safety and integrity of loading. All participants loaded great, especially with each crews being fairly new to the base.”

 

Winners of the Load Crew of the Quarter competition, from Reaper AMU, are:

Senior Airman Dustin, 432nd AMXS load crew chief

Airman 1st Class Malik, 432nd AMXS load crew member

Airman 1st Class Gabriel, 432nd AMXS load crew member


Also participating, from Tiger AMU, were:

Tech Sgt. Lawrence, 432nd AMXS load crew chief

Airman 1st Class John, 432nd AMXS load crew member

Airman 1st Class Colton, 432nd AMXS load crew member