Air Mobility Command Rodeo 2009

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Robert Pochert
  • McConnell AFB Rodeo team chief
Air Mobility Command is hosting the preeminent air mobility competition, Rodeo 2009 at McChord AFB, Wash., from July 19 to 24. More than 100 teams from the active duty, guard, reserves and allied air forces will compete in airdrop, air-land, air-to-air refueling, maintenance, aerial port, aero-medical evacuation, security forces operations, contingency operations and a flight attendant competition.

McConnell AFB is part of an 80-year history of air-to-air refueling. It started with the prop-driven "Question Mark" aircraft while refueled using a hose dangled in-flight from the first tanker, continuing to the KC-135 Stratotanker, of which we are all. We can see the future of air-to-air refueling flying in the sky over Wichita as the KC-767 prepares to serve our international partners. We can also see the shape of things to come as the KC-X program for the Air Force is on the horizon.

Honoring 80 years of in-flight refueling excellence, the Team McConnell will participate in both the tanker and receiver categories in a KC-135RT aircraft. It will be a first for both McConnell AFB and for AMC Rodeo. McConnell's Rodeo 2009 Team is truly a "total force" team. Two-thirds of the aircrew, maintenance and security forces competitors are from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing and one-third come from the 931st Air Refueling Group. This highlights the many unique capabilities and programs that make McConnell AFB the center of Air Refueling Excellence.

Why is AMC hosting a rodeo competition? General Arthur J. Lichte, Air Mobility Command commander laid out six key reaons:

  • Generate esprit de corps within the Mobility Air ForceĀ and its international mobility partners.
  • Promote professionalism among and provide recognition for aircrews, maintenance, aerial port, aero-medical evacuation, security forces personnel, and contingency response personnel.
  • Demonstrate air mobility mission capabilities.
  • Enhance standardization by promoting an exchange of information among participants.
  • Identify, refine and incorporate observed procedures and techniques that improve mission results.
  • Help strengthen, expand and shape international relationships, alliances and partnerships.

The rodeo is a base-wide effort. Over the next few weeks, our team will train hard and needs your support. Everyone can contribute to the success of the aircrew, maintainers and security forces participating this year. There will be several exciting events hosted by base organizations aimed at supporting various facets of the competition. Come out and cheer on your team, TEAM McConnell - AIRPOWER.