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Inaugural Gunfighter Challenge brings Airmen together

Airmen participate in a load competition during the Gunfighter Challenge June 12, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Airmen were challenged by how well they accomplished tasks in a set amount of time. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott/Released)

Airmen participate in a load competition during the Gunfighter Challenge June 12, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Airmen were challenged by how well they accomplished tasks in a set amount of time. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott/Released)

While participating in the Gunfighter Challenge, an Airman turns flips a tire during the physical fitness portion of the challenge June 13, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The teams raced each other in feats of strength and endurance. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott/Released)

While participating in the Gunfighter Challenge, an Airman turns flips a tire during the physical fitness portion of the challenge June 13, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The teams raced each other in feats of strength and endurance. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott/Released)

Airmen carry a litter through an obstacle course June 13, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The obstacle course was part of the three-day Gunfighter Challenge during which Airmen competed against each other in a series of unique events. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airmen Benjamin Sutton/Released)

Airmen carry a litter through an obstacle course June 13, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The obstacle course was part of the three-day Gunfighter Challenge during which Airmen competed against each other in a series of unique events. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airmen Benjamin Sutton/Released)

Two teams paired up against each other during a tug of war contest June 13, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The tug of war was one of the final events of the Gunfighter Challenge testing the strength and endurance of the Airmen. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airmen 1st Class Malissa Lott/Released)

Two teams paired up against each other during a tug of war contest June 13, 2013, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The tug of war was one of the final events of the Gunfighter Challenge testing the strength and endurance of the Airmen. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airmen 1st Class Malissa Lott/Released)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Members from the 366th Maintenance Group participated in the first-ever Gunfighter Challenge June 11-13.

The multiple competitions were designed to promote teamwork throughout 366th MXG squadrons.

"The challenges are designed to introduce competition as means to maintain the high level of esprit de corps and teamwork necessary for all Airmen," said Col. James McClellan, 366th MXG commander. "The intent is to ensure each Gunfighter Maintainer stays focused on our core maintenance and combat skills during the stand-down period."

The 366th Fighter Wing stood down the 391st FS "Bold Tigers" as part of the United States Air Force's decision to curtail flying operations for active duty combat units April 10, 2013.

"This challenge is, in my estimation, preparing our Airmen...our Gunfighters...to be mission ready," said McClellan. "So when called upon the next time, we can generate dominate combat airpower the nation is expecting us to...anytime, anywhere."

The competition's various events included building munitions, post-attack reconnaissance sweeps, self-air buddy care, generating and launching aircraft for taxis, repairing a damaged piece of sheet metal, a physical challenge race and tug-of-war.

"This is a chance for the maintenance group to validate and refine the events in order to make next month's challenge even better," said 1st Lt. Jesse Gariepy, 366th MXG quality assurance officer-in-charge. "We would like it to involve multiple groups across the Wing and eventually the big picture could include members from the logistics readiness squadron testing their ability to prepare personnel and cargo to deploy, the operations group getting involved by employing mock intelligence to build scenarios and aircrew to fly those scenarios in the simulator.

"Our maintenance group can then generate combat-ready aircraft as a way to stay efficient in our core tasks," he continued. "We will look to build upon this month's challenge for subsequent events in the upcoming months."




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