HANCOCK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. – Weapons crews from Texas and California traveled to the 174th Attack Wing to compete in a weeklong training competition alongside New York Air National Guard Airmen Aug. 10-13.
Teams split the mandatory loading training into four competitive events. The week ended with a ceremony and trophies were given to the winning crews.
“It’s a weeklong training load off competition,” said Chief Master Sgt. Scott Rachon, wing weapons manager, 174th Attack Wing. “The training enhances our readiness and proficiency while allowing us to exchange ideas and build off of other units.”
The competition has been held at the 174th Attack Wing for the past four years with different units in attendance.
Rachon said the weapons crew from the 174th took home first place, but it was very close between the other units.
One part of the mandatory training is performing a complete weapons load while in full MOPP gear. MOPP gear is personal protective equipment used by the military in contaminated environments.
The crews receive a lot of encouragement from their wingmen during the MOPP gear load, according to Rachon.
“This week was absolutely amazing,” exclaimed Senior Master Sgt. Ricardo Davila, weapons NCOIC, 163rd Attack Wing. “We are able to learn a lot from the other units because we all do things slightly different.”
Davila said the hospitality they received was amazing and they were treated like family.
The crews practiced teamwork and communication in several events. One event required an Airman to be blindfolded and his wingmen had to guide him to select different tools out of a toolbox.
“I’d like to thank the leadership here at the 174th,” said Master Sgt. Chad Milton, weapons NCOIC, 147th Attack Wing. “My crew and I picked up a lot from being given this opportunity.”
The knowledge shared at the 174th Attack Wing over the past week will be escalated to units across the country and will enhance their weapon-ading capabilities.