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Operations Group rodeo tests skills, builds Global Viking spirit

The winning team (from left) Major Ryan Rastedt, Captain Treff Wagner, Captain, Mike Doerer,, Master Sergeant Blake Meyer, Technical Sergeant Nick Kaufenberg and Master Sergeant Derek Fore.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

The winning team (from left) Major Ryan Rastedt, Captain Treff Wagner, Captain, Mike Doerer,, Master Sergeant Blake Meyer, Technical Sergeant Nick Kaufenberg and Master Sergeant Derek Fore. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

The newly created and very recently coveted, "Viking Hammer. " (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

The newly created and very recently coveted, "Viking Hammer. " (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

Maj. Ethan Bryant maneuvers through the course as Capt. Mike McFadden, Maj. John Johnston and Master Sgt. Quentin Will scan the area for the next objective.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

Maj. Ethan Bryant maneuvers through the course as Capt. Mike McFadden, Maj. John Johnston and Master Sgt. Quentin Will scan the area for the next objective. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

Staff Sgt. James Goetze, a loadmaster from the 96th Airlift Squadron, guides a load onto the aircraft with the assistance of Tech. Sgt. Jerome Wy and Senior Airman Breanna Moravec of the 27th Aerial Port Squadron . (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

Staff Sgt. James Goetze, a loadmaster from the 96th Airlift Squadron, guides a load onto the aircraft with the assistance of Tech. Sgt. Jerome Wy and Senior Airman Breanna Moravec of the 27th Aerial Port Squadron . (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

Maj. Ethan Bryant and Capt. Mike McFadden, pilots from the 96th Airlift Squadron, go over their pre-flight plans with Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Kim. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

Maj. Ethan Bryant and Capt. Mike McFadden, pilots from the 96th Airlift Squadron, go over their pre-flight plans with Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Kim. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric Amidon)

MINNEAPOLIS-ST PAUL AIR RESERVE STATION, Minn. --

The 934th Operations Group conducted their first ever OG Rodeo June 3-4 in a whirlwind competition to hone skills and provide real-world training for all organizations involved.

The 96th Airlift Squadron, 934th Operation Support Squadron, The Intelligence Office, Life Support, Aerial Port and Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron all participated in the competition and gained real-world experience through the execution of each scenario.

Lt. Col. Casey Dodds, 934th Operations Group deputy commander, said, “This rodeo was modeled after the Air Mobility Rodeo at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and its goal was to provide tactical training and practice threat management in a friendly competitive environment.”
The Air Mobility Rodeo, the main training exercise for the Air Mobility Command, was cancelled in both 2013 and 2015 due to sequestration.
With a focus on practicing threat management, it was crucial that every team perform at the very top of their game. Members of the 96th Airlift Squadron are charged with providing global reach to war fighting forces, component and combatant commanders, and supporting national humanitarian relief assistance agencies through the execution of their mission.

Multiple teams competed in events including an off-loading cargo challenge, a “backing” challenge where the aircraft was to stop at a point 60 feet from the established marker and an airdrop challenge.
The teams were judged on proficiency and ability to maintain a watchful eye on safety standards throughout all of the events. The team with the highest score won the coveted and newly created “Viking Hammer.”

“After the Mobility Air Rodeo was cancelled again last year, members of the squadron saw an opportunity to host a local competition that would provide tactical training scenarios similar to those situations faced in real-world situations.” said Major Ethan Bryant, one of the competing C-130 pilots participating in the rodeo.

Major Bryant said the competition also helped build Esprit de Corps, camaraderie and teamwork.
“The rodeo was a huge success with our Operations Group participants,” said Dodds. “We are planning to make it even bigger next year. Units outside the Operations Group have already expressed interest in participating.”