Team Ramstein ropes eight awards at Rodeo

by Senior Airman Katherine Holt
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from Team Ramstein recently competed in the 2011 Air Mobility Command Rodeo competition at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 24 to 29, bringing home 10 percent of the total awards given to competitors.

The weeklong mobility readiness competition brought together more than 150 teams and 3,000 people from the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and the nations of Belgium, Netherlands, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Sweden. Additionally, there were more than 20 other countries observing the competition. Team Ramstein consisted of Airmen from the 86th Airlift Wing and 435th Air Ground Operations Wing.

“Rodeo was a great opportunity to see different tactics from different units,” said Maj. Chris Spangenberg, AMC Rodeo Team Ramstein lead. “We learned a lot from competing with the other teams. We grew as a team and it helped us get better.”

Focused on improving worldwide air mobility forces’ professional core abilities, the competition featured aircraft participating in airdrops, aerial refueling and other aerial events, as well as several ground-focused competitions.

With 80 awards up for grabs, the competition in each category was fierce.

“Fifty-five Airmen from the 86th AW and the 435th AGOW participated in more than 20 events,” Spangenberg said. “We took home awards for the best fit-to-fight team, the best operational support airlift/very important person special air mission precision landing team, OSA/VIPSAM distinguished visitor block in team, and best overall OSA/VIPSAM team.”

Ground and flight operations weren’t the only events where Team Ramstein took home hardware.

In 2009, AMC Rodeo added a competition for the best flight attendant team, and this year the competition for the best flight attendant culinary team was added. Flight attendants from the 76th Airlift Squadron took home both of these awards.

“We were told we would have to make a beef entree,” said Tech. Sgt. Lindsay Sebelius, 76th AS flight attendant and AMC Rodeo Team Ramstein flight attendant competitor. “We decided to make a traditional German dish and made a rum steak with peppercorn sauce and served it with fried potatoes.”

Additionally, the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing received awards for the best aerial port 10K forklift operators and best aerial port challenge course team.

“We were an eight-man aerial port team made up of personnel from several bases (Ramstein, Spangdahlem, Incirlik, Lajes and Mildenhall) within the 521st AMOW,” said Senior Master Sgt. Johnny Williams, AMC Rodeo 521st AMOW team lead. “We competed in seven aerial port events against more than 20 aerial port teams and walked away with two of the seven awards.”

For more than 50 years, Rodeo has helped Air Force mobility professionals foster teamwork and hone their skills, developing professional, disciplined Airmen. For more information on the event or for a full list of award winners, check out