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.


 
 

 
hb

Mental health services available for all Team March members, families

March Field offers mental health services through Elaine Valentine, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, director of psychological health and a licensed clinical social worker with more than 15 years of experience in the mental health care...
 
 
Photo: Air Force
Ninth Chief Master

Former CMSAF Binnicker passes away at 76

Photo: Air ForceNinth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Binnicker died on March 21. Former Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Binnicker, who was the service’s top enlisted man from 1986 to 1990, passed away in Ca...
 
 
California Air National Guard photo/ Staff Sgt. Gregory Solman

Civil Air Patrol awarded Congressional Gold Medal

California Air National Guard photo/ Staff Sgt. Gregory Solman Civil Air Patrol World War II service members receive replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony held in their honor at the March Field Air Museum in Ma...
 

 

AFR/ANG Teen leadership summits announced

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Air Force Services Activity has announced two teen summits for dependent children of current Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members. Dependents 14-18 years have until May 15 to sign up for the AFR/ANG Classic Summit in Dahlonega, Georgia, July 12-15, or the Adventure Summit in Estes Park,...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell McMillan)

452nd Air Mobility Wing hosts employer appreciation day

(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell McMillan) 1st Lt. Robert Bayer, pilot, 912th Air Refueling Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, California, compares photos with a civilian employer during a bosslift flight aboard a 452...
 
 

AF responds to National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force responded to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force’s recommendations in a report to Congress March 4. Of the Commission’s 42 recommendations, Air Force officials disagreed with only one and are already in the process of implementing 25, as well as developing plans or pilot programs...
 




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