Load Competition increases efficiency

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bryan Crane
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
From the second the clock starts till the second it stops, the 509th Maintenance Squadron Load Crew of the Year competitors are on their toes trying to be the best.

Three teams went up against each other Jan. 25 for the right to be named 2012's best load crew team.

The competition consisted of load teams from the 393rd Bomb Squadron, 13th Bomb Squadron and the 131st Bomb Squadron. These four-man teams competed in a 45-minute timed load, dress and appearance, and a 25-question written test.

"It's not about how fast they load the bombs," said Jason Biddlecome, 509th Maintenance Group loading standardization crew member. "It's about the efficiency in which they do it. We want these airmen to be able to complete the mission in an efficient time but we really want them to be able to do it the correct way without discrepancies."

The purpose of the load competition is to get the Airmen to strive for excellence and to get extra time to practice handling weapons.

"The purpose of the Load Crew of the Year competition is to recognize the best of the best," Biddlecome said. "We want everyone to desire to be the best, because the best naturally rise to the top and become the next generation of leaders."

There is a lot to go into being eligible for the competition. First the team must win one of the four quarterly competitions from the year. To be eligible for a Quarterly Competition, they cannot have any fails during the monthly loads, no PT failures and no disciplinary actions.

For the winners, it is a chance to say that they are the best loaders of 2012.

"The winners receive a hefty plaque to carry home," Biddlecome said. "Their names will get inscribed in a wall plate in the Weapons Loading Trainer hall to be remembered forever, but it's mostly about pride."

The load compition has been a way to get the shops excited about loading and giving them something to work for, as well as showing the community what makes the B-2 so special.

"It's a chance for us to show people why Whiteman is always prepared to strike at a moments notice if needed," Biddlecome said. "Because without weapons, it's just another airline!"

The winners will be announced at the 2013 Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet.