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Load crews go wrench to wrench

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Demetrious Moutos, left, Senior Airman Josef Thompson, 77th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew members work together to finish loading munitions on an F-16CM Viper during the quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Demetrious Moutos, left, Senior Airman Josef Thompson, 77th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew members work together to finish loading munitions on an F-16CM Viper during the quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019. The load crew competition emphasized team work and their abilities to work together to complete the task efficiently. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez).

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Tylan Armstrong, 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew member, examines fins for a munition during the quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Tylan Armstrong, 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew member, examines fins for a munition during the quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019. The quarterly load crew competition is a chance for the teams to demonstrate their proficiency during the loading process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez).

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Whitten 79th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew member helps guide munitions into the hanger during a quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Whitten 79th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew member helps guide munitions into the hanger during a quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019. The 79th AMU competed against the 55th and 77th AMU for a quarterly award win and the chance to move on to the yearly competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez).

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ryan Copeland, 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew member inspects munitions during a quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ryan Copeland, 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew member inspects munitions during a quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019. Copeland conducted checks to prepare the munition to be safely loaded onto the F-16CM Viper. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez).

Weapons load crew members assigned to the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and spectators gather to watch a quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019.

Weapons load crew members assigned to the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and spectators gather to watch a quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019. The load competition involved attaching munitions to the F-16CM Viper aircraft with a time limit to measure the team’s accuracy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez).

U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Shana Salmon, left, and Levi Brady, 79th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew members inspect munition parts during the quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Shana Salmon, left, and Levi Brady, 79th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) load crew members inspect munition parts during the quarterly load crew competition at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7, 2019. The two worked in tandem to make sure that the munitions were ready to safely attach to the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez).

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

Weapons load crews from the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s three units competed in an F-16CM Viper training exercise at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 7.

The units competed in front of a crowd of spectators for the third quarter Weapons Load Crew of the Quarter Award to see who could most accurately and safely load the aircraft in a given amount of time.

The 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit load crew involved Tech. Sgt. Mitchell Baker, Airman 1st Class Tylan Armstrong and Airman 1st Class Ryan Copeland. The 77th AMU load crew was represented by Staff Sgt. Demetrious Motos, Airman 1st Class Shelbi Campbell and Senior Airman Josef Thompson. Last but not least, the 79th AMU load crew was comprised of Staff Sgt. Christopher Whitten and Senior Airmen Levi Brady and Shana Salmon.

“The competition gives the crews a chance to be proficient and reliable across the board,” said Tech. Sgt. Jamal Brown, a 20th AMS loading standardization crew member. “When they deploy, it gives the crews a sense of knowing they can load any of the munitions and they will be 100% proficient across the board.”

The load crews represent the best job performance in their respective units.

After approximately 40 minutes of work, the teams were subject to the adjudicators and their subsequent evaluations. The judges analyzed each part of the operation down to the minute detail and selected a winner.

The 55th AMU won the quarterly award and earned a golden ticket to move on to the upcoming Weapons Load Crew of the Year competition.

“It’s awesome to get out here with the community and get recognition,” said Tech. Sgt. Mitchell Baker, a 55th AMU load crew member. “I always look forward to these, my guys work hard all year long.”