Aerial porters compete in local Port Dawg Challenge

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Shelton Sherrill
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The 74th Aerial Port Squadron from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, triumphed over the 41st APS in their local “Port Dawg” challenge held at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Oct. 14.

Two 41st APS teams and a 74th APS team competed for bragging rights as “the best” in the local region.

“The challenge is not just another competition for the title as the best, it’s much more,” said Master Sgt. Jordan Lagner, a 41st APS readiness and resources representative. “We do this to boost morale, increase job knowledge, and point out deficiencies.”

The three teams completed a series of tasks to test knowledge, skill, strength, and endurance. The competition included a pallet build-up, forklift course, chains and devices, quiz bowl, and physical fitness test.

The pallet build-up challenged Airmen to stack cargo onto a pallet to meet specific specifications. Next, a team of three maneuvered through obstacles in the forklift course. For the chains and devices portion, two participants raced to chain down cargo in a mock setup. The quiz bowl tested the port dawgs’ knowledge in a Jeopardy style game. Finally, three members of each team completed a relay style race that included a run, push-ups, and sit-ups.

“The three-way competition ended with a tie between a team from each squadron, forcing the two teams in a plank-off to determine a winner,” said Senior Master Sgt. Alex Cruz, a 41st APS manager.

One Airman from each team stayed in a single position, like a push-up, to see who had the most endurance. After three minutes, the 74th APS team was left planking and walked away with the win. Team members included Master Sgt. Cort Russell, Master Sgt. Angel Gil, Tech. Sgt. Arthur Morales, Staff Sgt. Ana Quintanilla, Airman 1st Class Charles and Airman 1st Class Jezreel Guico.

“This challenge allows us to take knowledge back to our home station and to be prepared for future challenges,” said Staff Sgt. Caden Solis, a 74th APS air transportation craftsman. “I value coming into a new environment to work with people I know from back home, while being able to integrate with people from this base to learn more about the job.”

Events such as the APS Port Dawg Challenge prepares reservists for the annual Air Force Reserve Command event with over 30 teams, said Lagner. Doing a local competition between Port Dawgs in the region allows our squadron to be better prepared when they attend in 2024.

“The Port Dawg Challenge here and at AFRC is a valuable training event, as it helps Airmen to prepare for the real-world challenges of aerial port operations,” said Lagner.