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Airmen face off in F-35 weapons load competition

Staff Sgt. Mark Mihacsi, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew team chief and Senior Airman Danielle Gschwendner, 33rd AMXS weapons load crew member load a GBU-12 on to a jammer during a weapons load competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The load crew competition showcased the efficiency of load crew teams to safely and properly arm an F-35 within time constraints. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Staff Sgt. Mark Mihacsi, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew team chief and Senior Airman Danielle Gschwendner, 33rd AMXS weapons load crew member load a GBU-12 on to a jammer during a weapons load competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The load crew competition showcased the efficiency of load crew teams to safely and properly arm an F-35 within time constraints. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Senior Airman Danielle Gschwendner, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew member, drives a jammer during a weapons load crew competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The load crew competition showcased the efficiency of load crew teams to safely and properly arm an F-35 within time constraints. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Senior Airman Danielle Gschwendner, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew member, drives a jammer during a weapons load crew competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The load crew competition showcased the efficiency of load crew teams to safely and properly arm an F-35 within time constraints. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Airman Dylan Snead, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew member, loads a GBU-12 into an F-35 during a weapons load crew competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The ability to quickly and safely load an aircraft with munitions is integral to provide combat-ready jets to combatant commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Airman Dylan Snead, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew member, loads a GBU-12 into an F-35 during a weapons load crew competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The ability to quickly and safely load an aircraft with munitions is integral to provide combat-ready jets to combatant commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Airman 1st Class Tyler Hayden, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, and Staff Sgt. Brody Bundy, 33rd AMXS weapons load crew team chief, assemble a GBU-12 during a weapons load competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The load crew competition showcased the efficiency of load crew teams to safely and properly arm an F-35 within time constraints. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Airman 1st Class Tyler Hayden, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew member, and Staff Sgt. Brody Bundy, 33rd AMXS weapons load crew team chief, assemble a GBU-12 during a weapons load competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The load crew competition showcased the efficiency of load crew teams to safely and properly arm an F-35 within time constraints. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Staff Sgt. Dustin Smith and Senior Airman Paul Jeffrey, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs, are checked for dress and appearance standards during a dedicated crew chief competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Air Force crew chiefs are responsible for the day to day condition of the aircraft assigned to them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Staff Sgt. Dustin Smith and Senior Airman Paul Jeffrey, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs, are checked for dress and appearance standards during a dedicated crew chief competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Air Force crew chiefs are responsible for the day to day condition of the aircraft assigned to them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Members of the 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron take a written exam during a weapons load crew competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The written exam tests the Airmen’s knowledge on weapons loading operations and safety standards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Members of the 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron take a written exam during a weapons load crew competition July 8, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The written exam tests the Airmen’s knowledge on weapons loading operations and safety standards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Members of the 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron competed in a quarterly weapons load competition and dedicated crew chief competition here today.

The load crew competition showcased the efficiency of load crew teams to safely and properly arm an F-35 within time constraints. The ability to quickly and safely load an aircraft with munitions is integral to provide combat-ready jets to combatant commanders.

“Being able to recognize the hard work of our Airmen makes good units great,” Col. Ronald Huzzard, 33rd Maintenance Group commander, said. “Thank you all for putting the hard work, time, energy and effort it took to get us to where we’ve gotten today.”

The winners of the weapons load competition were Staff Sgt. Brody Bundy, 33rd AMXS weapons load crew team chief, Airman 1st Class Tyler Hayden and Airman Dylan Snead, 33rd AMXS weapons load crew members. Winners of the dedicated crew chief competition were 33rd AMXS F-35 crew chiefs Staff Sgt. Dustin Smith and Senior Airman Paul Jeffrey.

 “This is a very satisfying experience that a lot of hard work went into,” Snead said. “It’s great to get a chance to do what we train for.”

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 and timely manner into the internal weapons bay of an F-35.

“When a weapons load crew team comes together and they can complete a load with zero errors and with minimal verbal commands, it is the epitome of team work,” Senior Master Sgt. Jennifer Dunn, 33rd Maintenance Group wing weapons manager, said. “When we perform, it showcases the pinnacle of our crew’s ability to load combat ready aircraft.”

By winning the quarterly load crew competition, the crew has secured a spot in the annual load crew competition in January.


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