Air Force

February 21, 2014

March Airmen ‘Crew Swap’ with Cruz Pedregon Racing team

Tags:
Megan Crusher
452 AMW public affairs

From left: Staff Sgt. Brian Huff, 912th Air Refueling Squadron; Staff Sgt. Randy Bowen, 452nd Security Forces Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Roger Messick, 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and Tech. Sgt. Michael Reid, 452nd Operations Support Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., watch as Cruz Pedregon Racing maintenance team members, service Pedregon’s funny car during the National Hot Rod Association’s Circle K Winternationals, held at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7, 2014. The Airmen were part of a Snap-On Tools-sponsored ‘Crew Swap.’

March Air Reserve Base and Cruz Pedregon Racing orchestrated a ‘Crew Swap’ to give each other a day-in-the-life experience; where the race team toured March ARB, Feb. 5, and a dozen service members visited the race crew at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7.

Jon Rucker, military program manager for Snap-on Tools, a Pedregon sponsor, began the ‘Crew Swap’ project four years ago to show how much they appreciate all the hard work and sacrifices made by service members.

“Cruz Pedregon Racing and Snap-on Tools believe in what our military members are doing day in and day out,” Rucker said. “We like our team to go out to local bases to actually see the great things our military members in uniform do.”

Col. Max Stitzer, 452nd Maintenance Group commander, was one of the key organizers for the visit, having hosted a crew swap at a previous base of assignment.

“They sincerely appreciate our service as members of the Air Force and recognize a lot of our people work for companies like theirs, so they certainly support the Reserve and Guard component,” Stitzer said.

The swap began with the Pedregon Racing team touring several March units, including the Air Force/Air Force Reserve’s 452nd and 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons, 336th Air Refueling Squadron and 729th Airlift Squadron and the California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing.

During their tour they got to experience the MQ-1 Predator simulator and static display, a KC-135 Stratotanker engine run and static display, and a C-17 Globemaster III tire change and static display. There was also a car show located near the statics for the team to check out during a BBQ lunch, compliments of the March maintenance folks.

“It was a great experience,” said Caleb Cox, team manager, Cruz Pedregon Racing. “I grew up wanting to be a pilot in the Air Force, so having this opportunity to sit down and talk with pilots and crew members will be something I’ll never forget.”

Two days after the base tour, more than a dozen Airmen spent the day at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona for opening day of the National Hot Rod Association’s Circle K Winternationals, where they were able to watch the crew tear down, rebuild and fine-tune Pedregon’s Toyota Camry Nitro Funny Car engine, as well as watch Pedregon race twice.

Staff Sgt. John Barela, vehicle operations, 452nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, was impressed with the teamwork demonstrated and struck by the similarities between his job and the race team’s job.

“In the pit here, if their job isn’t done right, somebody’s life is in danger,” Barela said. “And, if we don’t do our job right and our vehicles aren’t safe, then we have lives in danger as well.”

The parallels between the racing world and military was also noted by 1st Lt. Joshua Weddington, 163rd Aircraft Support Flight officer in charge, who was amazed with the high tempo and turnaround the team had to undergo in order to be ready for the second trial, which he said was similar to the high ops tempo of the military.

“These guys are working as a team, turning, burning and torching everything down,” Weddington said. “Everybody has their job and works together like a well-oiled machine, just like we do on the flight line.”

Before the final race, Pedregon, owner and driver of the Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry Nitro Funny Car, presented each Airman with a special Snap-on Tools challenge coin to thank them for their service and for giving him and his team such a great experience during their base tour.

Pedregon’s Car Chief (Cruz Pedregon Racing), Chris “Warrior” Kullberg, echoed his boss’s sentiments. “I am thankful to all the men and women who took the time to give us a tour of their base and I’m grateful for what they do for us and our country.”

Footage shot during the ‘Crew Swap’ is scheduled to air on ESPN2 sometime during the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Phoenix, Feb. 22-24.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Jennifer McLaughlin

Jones assumes command of 304th SBDE

U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Jennifer McLaughlin Col. Robin Jones, incoming 304th Sustainment Brigade commander, accepts the unit colors from Brig. Gen. Scottie Carpenter, 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command commanding genera...
 
 
Untitled-1

Creating a lifestyle of health and fitness

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech Sgt. Neil Ballecer Senior Airman Coral Williams, 163rd Comptroller Flight, begins a run on the March Air Reserve Base track, April 7. Running is one of the many cardiovascular exercises Williams partic...
 
 

March Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Center closes soon

The March Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Center will remain open for filing taxes until April 30, 2014. With the formal tax season now over, the March VITA Tax Center has prepared approximately 800 returns, saving nearly $100K in preparation fees, and clients have received back more than $850 thousand in combined state and federal refunds,...
 

 

Reveille: Continuing a proud military tradition

Reveille is a French word that literally means “wake up” and is traditionally played at sunrise on military installations. Here at March ARB, the 452nd Security Forces Squadron raises the national flag during reveille at 7:30 a.m. each day. The practice of reveille can be traced back to the French army, which used a form...
 
 

UPCOMING TICKETS AND TOURS EVENTS

Some restrictions apply. Times are approximate. MAY Date: May 1 Event: Price Is Right Cost: $16 per person Depart: 6:30 a.m. Return: 5:30 p.m. Description / Restrictions: Come on down to be a contestant on The Price Is Right and take your chances at becoming the big showcase winner. Ages 18 and up Deadline for...
 
 

VA disability claims backlog drops by 44 percent

One year after the backlog of pending disability compensation claims peaked at over 611,000 in March 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reduced that number by approximately 44 percent to 344,000 claims, a reduction of more than 267,000, while at the same time improving the accuracy of the decisions being made on veterans’...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin