The Lightning Team of the 461st Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., took the First Quarter Weapons Load Competition title, which was held April 3, 2017, at Hangar 1600.
Staff Sgt. Bobby Ambrose, Staff Sgt. Jason Bucholtz and Senior Airman Elijah Robinson competed against weapons crews from Team Raptor of the 411th Aircraft Maintenance Unit; the Pirates of the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron’s Aircraft Maintenance Unit; and the 416th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Falcons.
The teams were graded on their procedures and precision while loading a Joint Direct Attack Munition on their assigned fighter jets. The Lightning team loaded a GBU-31 into the internal weapons bay of an F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
The load crew competition showcased the efficiency of load crew teams to safely and reliably arm a fighter jet within time constraints. The ability to quickly and safely load an aircraft with munitions is integral to provide combat-ready jets to combatant commanders.
The competition tested the Airmen with a uniform inspection, tool box inspection, a written test on loading operations and safety, and their skill to load munitions in a safe, reliable, and timely manner.