Air Force RODEO showcases the best of the best

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. For most of us, the word RODEO conjures up images of an eight second bull ride, cowgirls barrel racing, little kids' mutton bustin and daredevil rodeo clowns. For the son of a Mooers Forks couple, the RODEO means which air mobility competition team can be named the "best of the best."

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Timothy M. Veen, son of Richard J. and Mildred F. Veen of Cannon Corners Road, Mooers Forks, was a participant at this year's Air Mobility Command's premier 60th anniversary event, the Air Mobility RODEO, at McChord. The biannual event features combat tactics and combat endurance course competition, aeromedical evacuation triage and endurance course and on and off loading from huge cargo aircraft events.

With Mount Rainer and the rugged shoreline of Puget Sound in the background, the world's best air mobility professionals came together to test their aircrew's flight and ground skills as well as the related skills of the security forces, aerial port operations, aeromedical evacuation, and aircraft maintenance team members.

Veen is an air transportation manager with the 60th Aerial Port Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.

"My role here is to perform as an engine running onload/offload umpire," said Veen, who graduated in 1979 from Northern Adirondack Central High School.

This years' RODEO included teams and observers representing more than 30 nations, the largest international presence since 1979, when members from around the world were first allowed to compete. For more than 45 years, the RODEO has pitted pilots, aircrews and maintainers in a series of events that test their abilities to perform cargo operations in a simulated combat environment. Building on a history of ingenuity, courage and resolve, this event sparks fierce competition even in the training and preparation stages between the crews from units around the world.

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