Air Force Reserve Command’s 93rd Bomb Squadron and 917th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron earned four of the five top team awards at their first appearance in a BUFF Smoke combat skills competition, the most recent held earlier this month at Barksdale AFB, La. Part of the 917th Wing at Barksdale, the Reservists competed against active duty air and maintenance crews from the 2nd Bomb Wing’s 11th BS, 20th BS, and 96th BS, and the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron, all located at Barksdale. The Reserve unit claimed Best Squadron, Best Crew, Best Aircraft Maintenance Unit, and Best Crew Chiefs awards at the conclusion of the five-day competition. Calling the win “a great honor,” Lt. Col. Keith Schultz, 93rd BS commander, also said his people “have always been the cream of the crop; things that other people find challenging we find as second nature.” According to 917th AMXS maintenance officer Capt. Stewart Martin said, “I knew we had good people and the expertise, and I knew we put together a good team.” TSgt. James Dudash, assistant crew chief with the 917th AMXS, praised the active duty crew chiefs, saying, “This award is such a great honor because we competed against the best.” The active-duty 11th AMU captured the fifth team award for Top Weapons Load Crew and 20th BS participants won individual awards. (Barksdale report by Capt. Newman Robertson)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.