39th APS delivers at the Port Dawg Challenge

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Amber Sorsek
  • 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

This year, the 39th Aerial Port Squadron placed in the top three for two competitions in the largest biennial Port Dawg Challenge here, April 23-26. For the first time ever, the three-day event brought together 26 aerial port squadrons from across the Air Force Reserve Command, Air National Guard, active duty Air Force and the British Royal Air Force.

This event was created to promote air transportation professionals, demonstrate air and space expeditionary force mission capabilities and help identify best practices to improve wartime readiness.

“The British team came last year to observe the event and this year they put together a team,” said Senior Master Sgt. Shane Goddart, the 39th APS noncommissioned officer in charge of ramp services and volunteer PDC assistant umpire. “(Having multiple teams) at the PDC builds camaraderie and trust between different aerial porters that we work with while deployed.”

Aerial porters deploy a lot and often meet with other “Port Dawgs” whom they deployed with at the PDC.

“(The PDC) is an excellent chance to show your skills,” said Goddard. “The pressure from the competition compares to pressure in a deployed environment.

The 39th APS sent six members to the competition hosted by the Air Force Reserve Command’s 94th Airlift Wing with one member as the team chief.

“(As team chief) I make sure we are taking care of our people,” said Tech. Sgt. Kristi Murray, a 39th APS air terminal operations center technician. “I look forward to seeing the results from our competitions and bringing best practices back to our unit.”

To win the competition, the teams competed in 12 events such as engine running onload/off-load, 10K forklift course, 25K Halvorsen driving and loading course, joint inspection readiness, cargo pallet build up and cargo restraint. They also take a written examination and an intense team fitness test with obstacle course.  

The 39th APS team placed among the top three best teams for the cargo restraint and emergency on-load/off-load competitions.

“The training the week prior was really helpful leading up to the challenge,” said Senior Airman William Lipscomb, the 39th APS cargo representative. “We keep getting the compliment here that we have a great team and work well together.”

The 76th APS took home the “Top Dawg,” but our team left with an accomplishment.

“The teamwork displayed this week was amazing,” said Maj. Emily Barry, the 39th APS commander. “I could not be more proud of how they received a perfect score in the cargo restraint and in the top three in the engine-running on-load/off-load events.”

Overall, the PDC is an opportunity to learn from other units and work together as a team.

“Remember, at the end of the day we are all part of a big team that’s making it happen,” said Chief Master Sgt. Randy Sadler, the Air Staff A4 career field manager of air transportation. “We are going to take this back to our units, we are going to learn from the things the umpires provided to us and we are going to make it better.”