U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE FORT WORTH, Texas --
The 301st Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was front-and-center on the installation’s flightline during the wing’s unit training assembly, February 5, 2021, as they competed in a spirited weapons load competition.
Evaluators observed as four competing, three-person AMXS load crews loaded weapons on their respective F-16 Fighting Falcon. The crews moved quickly, while maintaining a strict attention to detail, speed, safety, and proficiency, with hopes of winning the 301 FW’s load crew of the year. 301 FW AMXS Superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Scott Jongewaard shared what went into this year’s competition.
"[This annual competition] gives our weapons sections a chance to put their four weapons load crews head-to-head loading munitions, testing [their] knowledge and conducting a uniform inspection to see who the best is,” said Jongewaard. “It tests our crews and to puts into practice everything they’ve learned. It builds a tremendous amount of comradery in the weapons section and does a lot to make them mission focused as a team.”
The 24th Fighter Squadron, an active associate of the 301st Fighter Wing, is collocated on the installation. This association brings the Active Duty Airmen together with the Reserve Citizen Airmen in order to collaborate experience, resources and integration which would be found in a deployed environment here at home station. The competition featured three crews from the 301st Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and one crew from the 24 FS.
The competition took place in three parts, consisting of a written knowledge exam, a uniform inspection and a hands-on weapons loading evaluation. The scores will be tallied together to declare a winning crew and bragging rights for the whole year. The 301st Fighter Wing Maintenance Group is a family comprised of various shops with one common fighter mission.
“Personally, I like to see all personnel in the 301 FW MXG supporting the load competition. We are all responsible for generating sorties [flying missions] and remaining proficient in each of the Air Force Specialty Codes [or jobs], but we all get satisfaction from launching and flying aircraft that are loaded and ready to go,” Jongewaard said. “For the weapons section, loading munitions on our aircraft is how they fit into the 301 FW mission—to train, deploy, combat ready Airmen.”
The competition challenges weapons section Active Duty and Reserve Citizen Airmen to improve mission readiness, increase proficiency while highlighting the immense amount of training hours which have gone into learning their skillset. The scores will be calculated and a winner will be announced at a later date.