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Airmen train, compete to load F-35 weapons

Airmen secure a GBU-12 bomb to the wing of an F-35A Lightning II during a weapons load competition at Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Staff Sgt. William Lewis (right), Senior Airman Deneen Clark (center), and Airman 1st Class Allison Tomas, all from the 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, secure a GBU-12 bomb to the wing of an F-35A Lightning II during a weapons load competition at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 12, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Staff Sgt. William Lewis, 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, secures an AIM-9X missile to the wing of an F-35A Lightning II

Staff Sgt. William Lewis, 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, secures an AIM-9X missile to the wing of an F-35A Lightning II during a weapons load competition at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 12, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Airmen prepare to load an AIM-9X missile on an F-35A Lightning II during a weapons load competition at Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Senior Airman Deneen Clark, Staff Sgt. William Lewis, and Airman 1st Class Allison Tomas, all from the 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, prepare to load an AIM-9X missile on an F-35A Lightning II during a weapons load competition at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Oct. 12, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Air Force reservists in the 419th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron went head to head with their active duty counterparts during an F-35 Lightning II weapons load competition Oct. 12.

 

Representing the 419th AMXS were Staff Sgt. William Lewis, Senior Airman Deneen Clark, and Airman 1st Class Allison Tomas, who fixed an AIM-9X missile and GBU-12 bomb to the wings of an F-35, which is flown by the Reserve 419th Fighter Wing and active duty 388th Fighter Wing at Hill.

 

The Reserve maintainers went up against three active duty teams to compete for the quarterly title. The competition primarily serves as training for Airmen to quickly and accurately load aircraft as they would in a deployed environment, but it also cultivates teamwork and boosts morale.

 

The winning team, which this quarter went to the active duty 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit, later competes for Load Crew of the Year.