TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Travis is gearing up to compete in the 2007 Air Mobility Command Expeditionary Rodeo July 22 to 28 at McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
Two years ago, Team Travis took home 13 out of 22 trophies at the competition. However, the coveted Commander's Air Mobility Wing best overall award was denied them - going to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. instead. That is not going to happen again this year, according to Rodeo Team leaders.
"I don't think we're going to win -- I know we're going to win" said Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Quilici, 60th Aerial Port Squadron Rodeo team chief. We do it better than anyone else. It's just a matter of putting it together as a team. We're just going to finalize what everyone already knows."
The Rodeo tests every aspect of Team Travis' operational skills including events involving security forces, C-5 Galaxys, C-17 Globemaster III's and KC-10 Extenders. More than 60 people from Travis will compete in the competition which starts the minute the team takes off from here. There will also be a portion of the competition that tests Team Travis' fitness.
"Everyone in the Travis Rodeo team will be in top physical form by July," said Capt. Saskia Trujillo, 60th AMW Rodeo deputy team chief.
Of all the events Travis will take part in, one of the toughest is the engine running on and off load of a C-5 and C-17.
"That's the one that encompasses the most overall competition - maintenance, operations group and mission support group," Sergeant Quilici said. "We all have to work in that event. That's where the majority of our practice is going to be."
During the engine running event, competitors start earning points from the time the loadmaster gives the thumbs up. They lose points for every safety violation detected by AMC umpires. The team that completes the task in the shortest amount of time with the most total points, wins. Competitors are given eight minutes. Last time, Travis finished the event in 5 minutes 40 seconds. Their closest competition was two minutes behind.
In order to take the trophy this year, Team Travis is taking the two-prong approach of preparation and practice. Every competitor will know his or her job beforehand and will spend hours rehearsing that job. The APS team is scheduled to spend approximately 54 hours per week practicing for the Rodeo, starting May 1.
"You get perfection from practice," Sergeant Quilici said.