An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

337th Air Control Squadron ABM graduate takes bronze at Pacific Games

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Briana Beavers
  • 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Sweat dripped from 2nd Lt. Leowell Cristobal’s brow, as he prepared himself to lift the 137 kg bar.  

Cristobal lifted this weight before, but the stakes were high amidst the 2023 Pacific Games competition at the Solomon Islands, Oceania.  

The Pacific Games is a continental multi-sport weightlifting competition held every four years in Oceania. 

Mustering up his strength, he went for the clean and jerk. With arms fully extended above his head and straining to hold his posture, the whistle sounded letting him know that the bronze medal was his.  

Cristobal, a recent graduate from the Undergraduate Air Battle Manager course at the 337th Air Control Squadron, works to ensure he is successful on and off the weightlifting platform. 

“I’ve been with 337th ACS since August when I started UABM training,” Cristobal said. “I graduated in April 2023 and was assigned to fill the role of the 325th Wing scheduling chief while I wait to PCS.” 

As a scheduling chief, Cristobal ensures the coordination of aerial event requests, preparing and briefing the weekly scheduling meetings, and tracking the flying hour program. 

“The biggest similarity between weightlifting and my job is the planning involved to ensure the mission or competition goes as well as possible,” Cristobal noted.  

Cristobal’s preparation for the competition involved consistent physical activity and recovery. 

“Training, especially for the Pacific Games, consisted of lifting seven to eight times per week, yoga and mobility work every day, dialing in my nutrition and recovery, and making sure I get seven to eight hours of sleep,” Cristobal said. 

Greg Borja, manager for Team Northern Mariana Islands, NMI, speaks to Cristobal’s accomplishments during the competition.  

“Although he wasn't able to hit his third lift in the snatch, his clean and jerk performance brought the NMI another bronze to add to the medal count.” Borja said. “While serving our country in the Air Force, he will continue to train, as he and the rest of our team prepare for the Oceania Championships in New Zealand this coming February 2024.” 

He attributes his success to his family, friends, and mentors. 

“I’d like to thank my family and friends for supporting me throughout,” Cristobal said. “As far as prevalent mentors in my weightlifting career, Elias Rangamar was my high school track coach who introduced me to weightlifting.” 

Amongst colleagues, Cristobal gives a special shout out to the 337th ACS ‘Doghouse’. 

“There's a lot of good people at the Doghouse, which is a big reason why I enjoy wearing the uniform, so I'm grateful they created an environment for me to succeed,” he continued. “As I go on to my next duty station, I know I'm leaving the Doghouse a better officer, leader, and person because of all the amazing people in the squadron.”