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Peterson Airmen participate in 2015 Port Dawg Challenge

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- Aerial Porters from the 39th Aerial Port Squadron competed in the 2015 Port Dawg Challenge at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia on June 18.

The three-day bi-annual event brought 26 aerial port squadrons from across the command to compete for the coveted "Top Dawg" trophy.

"This competition brings a new element to the training because of the camaraderie," said Lt. Col. Heather McCue, 2015 Port Dawg Challenge commander. "This is all-encompassing and tests all your skills as an aerial porter."

The team from Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, won the competition.

"Port Dawgs" are entrusted to ensure aircraft, cargo and passengers are cared for and the Air Force mission succeeds.

The challenge involved 12 events designed to test the teams both mentally and physically. Among the events were a written exam, physical fitness challenge, and timed everyday tasks that an APS Airman might see.

With more units than the active duty Air Force, McCue believes that this competition is crucial to real world success.

"The most important thing is the teamwork as a whole and as an Air Force community," stated McCue. "The better off we're trained, the better off for the Air Force. We can be better, safer and more efficient."

Senior noncommissioned officer's umpired and then provided on-the-spot training. Having such an experienced crew allowed for an educational environment within the competition. After each event the umpires would take time to go over mistakes and corrective actions.

Senior Master Sgt. Denim Kurtzhals, PDC umpire, was one of the judges for the pallet build-up challenge. The event required three Airmen to take weight and size documentation and properly secure the cargo to a pallet within an allotted time.

"I hope the participants walk away from this with a better sense of what it means to work as a team," Kurtzhals said. "For me, the most rewarding part of being an umpire is seeing the teams come together and learn something new."

The team from the 39th APS included Tech. Sgt. Sara Yong, team chief and special handling; Staff Sgt. Christopher Meyer, aerial delivery; Staff Sgt. Meagan Hasty, information control; Senior Airman Russel Hudson, special handling and Senior Airman Nicholas Vanzee, cargo.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui