Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia -- The 94th Airlift Wing hosted the 2017 Port Dawg Challenge at Dobbins, April 25-27. The three-day biennial event brought together 23 aerial port squadrons from across the Air Force Reserve Command for an intense competition.
The APS Airmen are transportation specialists who sometimes refer to themselves as "Port Dawgs".
"Port Dawgs" provide military logistical functions to aerial ports, including processing personnel and cargo, loading equipment, preparing cargo and load plans, loading and securing aircraft, ejecting cargo for inflight delivery and supervising units engaged in aircraft loading and unloading operations.
The fourth PDC included a variety of events that tested competitor's technical expertise, encouraged teamwork, and allowed senior personnel to deliver on-the-spot training and corrective action.
The competition included engine running off/on load, 10K forklift obstacle course, joint inspections, load planning effectiveness, pallet build up, passenger and cargo processing, air terminal command and control functions, fitness challenge, and a comprehensive knowledge test.
The importance of the event was highlighted by the master of ceremony during the opening session.
"This event was created to promote professionalism, demonstrate air and space expeditionary force capabilities and to recognize the best of the best within the Air Force Reserve aerial port community," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Ashton, 67th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation specialist from Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
This year's challenge brought many supporters from various units across the country to root for the "dawgs" from their respective squadrons. The guest speaker also motivated the Airmen prior to the challenge kickoff.
"Remember that you represent men and women overseas in harm's way right now," said Maj. Gen. John P. Stokes, 22nd Air Force commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Dobbins ARB. "For aerial porters that are doing the mission, supporting the fight, working long days, make them proud this week."
Stokes encouraged Airmen to give their best and learn lessons from other professionals in units around them.
"At the end of the day, we are part of the same team with one fight, we represent a great Air Force, you should be proud of that," said Stokes.