Wednesday, July 29, 2009

EDITORIAL >>Air base wins big

Little Rock Air Force Base sent four C-130s and some 140 airmen for the weeklong air rodeo competition at McChord Air Force Base in Washington state.

They returned triumphantly to Little Rock Air Force Base on Saturday with nine trophies — including two best overall and seven C-130 awards — outpacing the teams the base sent two years ago, the last time the competition was held.

Our teams showed tremendous skill in all categories, competing against the toughest airmen from around the country and the world. It was a grueling week, but well worth it:

The 19th Airlift Wing won best overall C-130 team and best overall aerial port team.

The wing’s aerial-port crew also won for the best C-130 engine-running off-load team and the best C-130 in-transit visibility team.

The 314 Airlift Wing had the best C-130H post-flight team.

The Team Little Rock maintenance squad picked up three awards. The best C-130 maintenance team award went to the 19th Airlift Wing, J-model. They also brought home the best C-130 pre-flight team.

Another award the 19th Airlift Wing won was best C-130 short field landing crew. The 314 Airlift Wing was awarded the best back-landing combat off-load crew.

LRAFB showed the world that the best airlifters are made right here at the Rock. The men and women who serve our nation with distinction have made us proud. Thanks also to Col. Gregory Otey, 19th Airlift Wing commander, and Col. Charles Hyde, 314th commander, for an outstanding job. We salute you.