Air Force Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 446th Airlift Wing participated in the first 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron amazing race morale event Saturday.
Airmen from the 446th AES developed a race adapted from the television reality game show “The Amazing Race.” In the television version, teams race around the world competing in various challenges. Building on that premise, the 446th AES Air Reserve Technicians designed a course that required Airmen to compete in a wide variety of challenges.
Six teams navigated through seven different obstacles. Some stations were knowledge-based tests such as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense protective measures, while others, such as the tire flip focused on physical strength.
All stations required teammates to creatively work together to meet their objective: winning the coveted squadron badger trophy and bragging rights. The badger is the squadron’s informal mascot symbolizing that they never give up, a motto the 446th AES closely follows.
The trophy is a perpetual honor, rotating from flight section to flight section depending on the latest victor.
Chief Master Sergeant Saudi McVea, 446th AES chief enlisted ART, played an integral role in organizing the morale event.
“I wanted to put together something outside of our normal activities that would be fun, challenging and enhance morale,” McVea said.
McVea was also the referee of an obstacle for marching jodies, where teams had to march to specific cadences while singing.
Teams were made up by flight sections and had the opportunity to prepare costumes for the competition. Some teams were dressed in Hawaiian-style apparel, others patriotic colors, and even one team was known as “Colonel’s Pack O’ Knights” keenly named after Col. Cheryl Knight, the 446th AES commander.
“This has been such an amazing event,” Knight said. “These Airmen work so hard, so I’m really glad we got together to focus on building morale and having fun. I’m really proud of the hard work and accomplishments of everyone here.”
An obstacle called “Hoops with Sergeant Hooper” required team members to work together to make 10 basketball shots from various positions on the court. While sounding simple, some of the shots were from half-court distance and others were over-the-shoulder shots, challenging even the more skillful basketball players.
“People today have really gotten into it by applying different strategies,” said Tech. Sgt. Steven Hooper, an ART from the 446th AES and referee for “Hoops with Sergeant Hooper.” “It’s been really cool watching everyone work together. I’m really glad we did this.”
The team that made it through all seven events the fastest and had the least amount of penalties won the coveted badger trophy.
In a close race, the 446th AES Operations Flight, nicknamed the “Fly’n Hawaiians,” came in first place.
The entire squadron cheered on the last team to complete the obstacle course.
When McVea asked the members of the squadron if they should do another Amazing Race morale event everyone responded with a resounding “Yes!” and one member shouted, “How about next UTA!”