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. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang

Airman retires after 37 years of service

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang Chief Master Sgt. Karen L. Krause, 452nd Maintenance Operations Squadrons superintendent, receives a flag from a Blue Eagles Total Force Honor Guard member during her retireme...
 
 

Look past 1947 for Air Force roots

The Air Force officially turns 67 this month, but my Uncle Gino thinks it’s older. He’s 90 and the lone surviving brother of my father. Both of them served in World War II, as did two of their siblings. My father was in the Navy, as was his eldest brother, Europeo (his real name, I...
 
 

Air Force revamps Air Expeditionary Force

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force will deploy Agile Combat Support (ACS) Airmen under its redesigned air expeditionary force (AEF) construct October 1. The primary purpose of the redesign was to look at ways to deploy more ACS Airmen with their units and standardize dwell times across the Air Force as much as possible to...
 

 

Air Force’s top leader discusses Reserve future

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Citizen Airmen have an advocate at the very top of Air Force. During a visit to Robins Air Force Base, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James discussed several issues related to the Air Force Reserve’s future. As the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard continue to...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt Rick Sforza, 4th Combat Camera Squadron

March host wing contributes to overall success of Mobility Air Force mission

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt Rick Sforza, 4th Combat Camera Squadron A KC-135R from the 336th Air Refueling Squadron refuels a C-17A from the 729th Airlift Squadron. Both aircraft are from the Air Force Reserve Command’s ...
 
 

BASH: Protecting our aircraft, Airmen

U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Bari Wald David Briseño, wildlife biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture and head of Marchs’ Bird/Anti-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program, prepares to fire a 12-gauge ‘shell cracker’ into the air with his shotgun. Firing ‘shell crackers’ is one of many pyrotechnic methods used in the BASH program to...
 




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