News: Belgium C-130 practices for Air Mobility Rodeo 2011
Story by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - A Belgium air force C-130 went on a practice flight for Air Mobility Rodeo 2011 on July 20. Belgium is just one of several international competitors participating in Rodeo competition from July 24-29 here.
Air Mobility Rodeo 2011, sponsored by the Air Mobility Command, is the Mobility Air Force's (MAF) readiness competition. This competition focuses on improving worldwide air mobility forces' professional core abilities, according to the Rodeo 2011 fact sheet.
More than 150 teams and 3,000 people from the Air Force, and Air Force Reserve, as well as allied nations, are expected to participate. The last biennial competition took place in July 2009 -- also at McChord, the fact sheet states.
In October 1956, 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 fact sheet shows
The 1962 competition was a combat skills competition designed to develop and improve techniques/procedures while enhancing air mobility operations, and promoting esprit de corps. In 1979, Rodeo was expanded to include our 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. It also provides valuable joint and combined training for all participants.
The fact sheet also states that "an important long-term benefit is increased cooperation between air mobility forces from several nations."
"Collectively, the ultimate goal of the competition is to develop and improve techniques and procedures that enhance air mobility operations. Spirited competition furthers that aim, while strengthening the mutual goals and bonds of friendship developed between competing teams."