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Moody hosts Hawgsmoke’s first weapons load competition

Photo of Airmen participating in the Hawgsmoke 2021 Weapons Load Competition

Airmen assigned to the 924th Maintenance Squadron participate in the Hawgsmoke 2021 Weapons Load Competition April 15, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The 924th MXS’s mission is to provide maintenance support to A-10C Thunderbolt II formal training units under the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

Photo of Airmen standing at attention

From left, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victor Brunk and Airman 1st Class Dashon Cromwell, both 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crewmembers, and Staff Sgt. Wyatte Velasco, 75th AMU weapons load team chief, stand at attention before the Hawgsmoke 2021 Weapons Load Competition April 15, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. To determine which team is the best of the best, judges used a point system to measure which crew had the fewest discrepancies in their munitions and how fast and efficient they were able to load them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

Photo of an Airman assisting with a munitions load

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victor Brunk, 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crewmember, assists with a munitions load during the Hawgsmoke 2021 Weapons Load Competition April 15, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Moody hosted the very first Hawgsmoke Weapons Load Competition in an effort to showcase weapons troops’ skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

Photo of an Airman loading a munition

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Dashon Cromwell, 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crewmember, loads a munition during the Hawgsmoke 2021 Weapons Load Competition April 15, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The competition gave each participating crew the opportunity to experience how quickly they may have to perform integrated combat turns downrange. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

Photo of an Airman making remarks

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. William Beard, 23d Maintenance Group weapons standardization superintendent, makes remarks before the Hawgsmoke 2021 Weapons Load Competition April 15, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Moody’s weapons standardization section evaluated and scored the eight load crews during the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

Photo of Airmen preparing to lift a munition

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Christian Martinez, 924th Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew team chief, and Staff Sgt. Mateo Palacios, second from right, 924th MXS weapons load crewmember, prepare to lift a munition during the Hawgsmoke 2021 Weapons Load Competition April 15, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. During the competition, eight load crews were required to load an AIM-9 Sidewinder, a Mark-82 general purpose bomb and a GBU-38 joint direct attack munition as quickly and safely as possible. The 924th MXS is from the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The 23d Wing hosted Hawgsmoke’s first weapons load competition April 16, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

The biennial competition consists of various categories to include bombing and marshalling, but it has never included a weapons load competition in the official scoring until 2021.

“With Moody hosting the Hawgsmoke (2021) competition, we decided to do things a little differently,” said Tech. Sgt. Tracy Bravo, 23d Maintenance Group loading standardization crewmember and Hawgsmoke 2021 Weapons Load Competition evaluator. “We decided to incorporate a loading competition, so weapons (troops) can show what they are capable of doing.”

The top crews from units from across the service came to Moody to show off their skills and compete against each other in front of leadership, coworkers and families

To determine which team is the best of the best, judges used a point system to measure which crew had the fewest discrepancies in their AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mark-82 general purpose bomb and GBU-38 joint direct attack munition, and how fast and efficient they are able to load them.

“It’s a big event for everyone,” Bravo said. “It’s a big morale booster for pilots, maintainers and crew chiefs. It gives everyone (an opportunity) to see these (crewmembers) show off what they do. It also provides friendly competition (among) each other.”

The competition gave each crew the opportunity to experience how quickly they may have to perform integrated combat turns downrange.

“Training is very important when it comes to the real-world mission,” said Staff Sgt. Demetrius Carson, 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team chief. “We have to be able to (master) what we do here, so when we go across the pond, there will be little to no hiccups in the mission. We’re contributing to the airframe because we are the ones loading the munitions and making things go ‘boom.’”

For the 74th AMU, participating in Hawgsmoke’s first maintenance competition was about more than just showcasing their skills.

“It was definitely a privilege to be a part of Moody’s first time hosting the Hawgsmoke (2021) maintenance competition,” Carson said. “I take a lot of pride in weapons and I am grateful to have this experience.”