RAGE: Aviano makes history

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The crowd cheered with excitement as 10 Airmen from the 31st Munitions Squadron sprinted towards flat and empty trailers, ready to mark Air Force History.

“I am beyond proud and excited for these Airmen, they have put in hard work, and countless hours to get ready for this competition,” said Lt. Col. Lupe Gutierrez, commander of the 31st MUNS. “This is going to be historic.”

The 31st MUNS held the very first Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment competition.

“RAGE is the first of its kind and will be held quarterly at Aviano Air Base from this point forward,” said Senior Master Sgt. Chet Reed, 31st MUNS production flight chief.

The competition serves an important purpose and significantly impacts the mission and the Air Force as a whole.

“RAGE is designed to improve the 31st MUNS adaptive basing capabilities by pinpointing teams within our squadron to assemble, train, refine, and solidify their rapid deployment processes,” said Reed.

Each member from both teams volunteered to be a part of the competition.

“RAGE consisted of two teams from the 31st MUNS,” said Reed. “Each team consisting of one seven-level Ammo crew chief, two Ammo five-levels, and two Ammo three-levels.”

Each team was evaluated based on six different events, which include a written test, stockpile practices (computer based), trailer configuration, trailer re-configuration, 463L palletization and finally the munitions build.

However, according to Reed, the hardest part of the six components was the last event.

“The hardest portion and most heavily weighted will be the ‘bomb build’ portion as this event is a culmination of events one through five,” said Reed. “This portion tests their ability to rapidly meet the timely and technical proficiency rubric in front of a large crowd of rowdy Maintainers!”

Although some parts of the six events were challenging, all the Airmen pushed through and gained knowledge that they may not have gotten otherwise.

 “It was a great learning experience,” said Senior Airman Gloria Hall, crew chief from the 31st MUNS. “It’s nice to have opportunities like this, because it gives newer and more experienced Ammo troops more time to practice. It’s not very often that we all get to do the multitude of these things.”

The competition highlights the hard work the 31st MUNS performs daily.

“This competition pulls folks from all different sections within the 31st MUNS and exposes them to tasks in which they do not have the opportunity to train or complete on a regular basis,” said Reed.

“This exposure sharpens their rapid deployment skills opening the door for Wyvern Nation and USAFE to posture forces anywhere in the European theater no matter the threat, infrastructure, nor the forward deployed environment.”

RAGE constructs teamwork, improves communication, but most importantly builds comradery.

Throughout this competition, Airmen expressed pride in who they are and what they do.

Airman 1st Class Carter Buschman, crew chief from the 31st MUNS said, “We are the best munitions squadron in the entire United States Air Force.”