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Lobos lead loading competition

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. -- Three Airmen from the 358th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were recognized Friday as the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base load crew team of the year.

Though for Staff Sgt. Gregory Jones, Senior Airman Brian Marchand Erin Rodriguez, the win was a testament to their efforts and abilities during the contest and throughout the year. 

"This is a great honor, and a lot of hard work by the whole team has gone into this win," said Sergeant Jones. 

The selection process for the competition is three-tiered starting at the unit level, where
leadership offers the opportunity based on a point system. The potential contestants gain points through scores from no-not ice and planned evaluations conducted throughout the year by the weapons standardization shop. Depending on the squadron, they lose points for letters of counseling or reprimand. 

"The initial selection process ensures that Airmen chosen for the quarterly and annual
competitions are the best we have," said Master Sgt. Thomas D. Frazier, 355th Maintenance Group weapons standardizations superintendent. 

The load team with the most points for the quarter competes in the quarterly competition. For example, the crews of the fourth quarter load competition have the most points for the time period between September and December. 

The team selected to compete for the unit in the annual award has the most average
points for the year. "The teams who go to the annual competition can essentially have
fewer points than the winner for the quarters, but still have a higher yearly average. The 358th AMU team was an exception and had both," said Sergeant Frazier. 

For the quarterly and annual competitions, on a separate point system than the selection process, each crew begins with 3,000 points. They can lose points from the 10-question test, or from speed and accuracy judged during the evaluators' overall inspection of their load and tools. 

"By the time these guys got to the annual competition, they were selected as the best out
of eight to 10 crews in their unit for the year. So for contestants, simply getting here is quite an accomplishment," said Sergeant Frazier. 

The winners will receive recognition at the Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet in March.