97 AMW Airmen compete in annual Wing Rodeo

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing competed in the second annual Wing Rodeo at Altus Air Force Base, Nov. 4-5, 2021.

The Wing Rodeo is an annual exercise that demonstrates proficiency in multiple areas within the 97th Operations Group and the 97th Mission Support Group. The areas included cargo loading, air refueling, tactical arrivals and departures, landings, combat offloads, simulation events, and pallet builds.

“It is a huge lift for the mobility wing to go out and do this and, because of the professionals that we have here, we make it look really easy,” said Maj. Curtis Sinewe, 97th Operations Support Group chief of tactics. “But the reality is when a single installation takes to the air with 21 jets that quickly and smoothly, people notice because that's a capability that few nations have, much less individual installations. That's quite a statement of global reach and global power when a single base is able to do those things. And it speaks to the individual expertise of everyone, those planners and every one of the Airmen, civilians and contractors who are out there supporting the mission.”

The rodeo was an opportunity for instructors to work together to not only improve upon skills and training, but also to compete in a friendly competition that ended with multiple awards given out by commanders to the Airmen involved.

Master Sgt. Josh Mullen, 56th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator superintendent, played the role of a judge during the loading and unloading of cargo on the KC-46 Pegasus.

“The desired learning objectives for the (97th Logistics Readiness Squadron) portion of the rodeo was to successfully complete a real cargo loading scenario and ensure our knowledge is up to date,” said Mullen. “Because we are an AETC base and we don’t get many opportunities to do this type of cargo loading, it is important to improve upon our skills so we can further teach students who come to Altus.”

Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, visited the Mighty 97th to observe the Wing Rodeo and witness first-hand AAFB’s rapid mobility air power.

“The thing that makes our Air Force special is the mobility and the ability to project power. We bring the good guys to the fight and we bring the good guys home,” said Wills. “Mobility’s Hometown, the center of excellence, the place where it all starts. Thanks for putting this together.”