3,000 Airmen from across the globe, including the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and more than 30 international teams eagerly awaited Brig. Gen. Rick Martin, the Rodeo 2011 commander, to officially start the competition!
With the largest attendance in 55 years, this year’s Rodeo is shaping up to be one of the best events where competitors can test their skills in air-to-air refueling, on/off loading cargo, aero-medical evacuations, low-level flying and air drops.
One of the signs of increasing global cooperation between the USAF and the other countries across the world is evident by the number of international competitors and observers of this years events. No matter what flag is on their shoulder, they share a common bond of flying cargo airplanes and along with that comes instant respect from any airman from any base. Their words may be different, but at the end of the day, they still all perform the same mission, and all have the highest level of professionalism.
And after the commander of Air Mobility Command, Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr., inspected the units standing in formation participating in Rodeo 2011, a USAF Airman parachuted out of a C-17 with the American flag.
And with the ceremony officially opened, it was time for the only competition of the day, “Fit-to-Fight.” Each 5 person team competed in one minute of push-ups, one minute of sit-ups and then a 1.5 mile run. But each competitor was supported by their other squadron mates, some showing more spirit then others.
And one of the stand out teams was the group from March Air Reserve base. They were all heart and put in 110% into the event.
Even though this was a non-flying event, March ARB treated it with the same precision and passion as a tactical air mission. And even though they were individuals competing, they worked together and got the mission done. And no doubt with top marks!
First up was the push-ups competition. Each Airman did as many as they could in one minute. I overheard one of the judges say that the record was 112! WOW!
With their blood pumping and the crowd cheering, it was time for the sit-ups. With reputation and bragging rights at stake, the Team March held their own against a very intimidating (and large!) group from Ramstein AFB.
But when it came down to it, March gave it all they got and if the cheers were any indications, they rocked that competition as well.
Then after a few minutes of cool down and a glass of ice cold water, time for the 1.5 mile race. Even though Ramstein was allowed to start in front of March, it was a long course.
And if this race is any indication of the way they will perform in the rest of Rodeo, Team March just might take the Gold!
With the finish line and their competition in sight, Team March diggs deep and kicks it into high gear! Target in sight!
Target passed and defeated!
Nothing but dust!
And the crowd goes wild!!!