Weapons Bring the Boom to Valiant Eagle 2014
By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Brownfield, 125th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 09, 2015
Jacksonville, Fla. -- Servicemembers from the 125th Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Weapons Section hone their skills year round for a chance to compete in the annual loading competition as part of Valiant Eagle.
Being able to compete in the event represents a dedication to sustained excellence in the career's training program all year long.
"The weapons competition builds esprit de corps among the weapons career field," said Chief Master Sgt. Alan Secrest, event director for the loading competition. "You know what spoke in the wheel you are in the unit as a whole."
Throughout the year, the weapon standardization section evaluates the weapons systems load teams on a variety of metrics.
"Everything is extremely standardized from the way we start, the way we finish and how we load", said Staff Sgt. Seanna Anderson, an armament systems technician and member of the winning crew during Valiant Eagle 2014. "You should be seeing all load crews doing the exact same thing."
A single team is selected every quarter leaving four teams to compete for load crew of the year. The quarterly winners compete against each other during Valiant Eagle. Valiant Eagle is a yearly contest involving competitive events from different career fields.
Sanctioning a weapons loading competition isn't just about maintaining readiness, but also building excitement over the career field.
"A lot of people don't see what we do on a daily basis. " Anderson said. "It's nice to be recognized for what you do."
Weapons loaders undergo monthly evaluations as part of their training requirements. These evaluations determine who gets to compete at the end of the year. The 2015 weapons load team of the year consisted of Tech. Sgt. Scott Boever, Staff Sgt. Seanna Anderson and Senior Airman Jeffrey Brockman.
"It makes you eager all year long to be good at your job because you want to make this something greater," Anderson said.