SrA Williams is ready to participate in AF Rodeo

Story and photo by SrA Lauren Main

15th Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman Shane Williams, KC-135 boom operator with the 96th Air Refueling Squadron (96 ARS), is not only this week’s Hickam Warrior but also an elite member of the 2011 KC-135 Aircrew Rodeo Team.

“I’m excited to participate in rodeo,” said Williams. “It means that others believe that I can get the job done.”

The rodeo is an Air Force-wide and multinational competition that tests every aspect of the different teams’ career fields. The events are physically and mentally challenging and include an obstacle course, combat challenges, timed air refueling missions and cargo load competitions.

“It’s a timed competition. So it’s a combination between the pilot’s expertise, the way they execute, and me,” he said. “You have to make contact with the receiving plane at an exact moment, and you’re graded on how you do. It takes a lot of work.”

He will also have to put his sharp skills to use when it comes to the cargo load competition portion of the exercise.

“We load anywhere from three to five pallets and we’re judged on how quickly, safely and accurately we can load them into the aircraft,” he explained.

According to Williams, the aspect that he is looking forward to the most at rodeo is the competition.

“I’m excited to see how we stack up against other squadrons. I’m interested to see how well they execute,” he said. “But I’m very confident in my team, especially our team leader.”

However, given the choice between cargo loading and operating the boom, Williams claimed he would rather be refueling any day.

“His professionalism and job knowledge got him the job, but his likeable personality cemented his position as a member of the team,” said Church.”

Williams’ dedication to his career and his team has earned him the respect of his fellow members. It is these qualities that landed him a position on the 2011 Rodeo Team as well as this week’s Hickam Warrior.

Williams is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys the beach, hanging out with friends and baseball.

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Category: News