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139th Airmen take first at ground transportation rodeo

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. --

The 139th Logistics Readiness Squadron team from the 139th Airlift Wing brought home the first place trophy for the Best in the Midwest Ground Transportation Rodeo held in Fort Leonard Wood, May 20-21.

The two-day competition included an Air Force Instruction test and obstacle courses for the 4k forklift, 10k all-terrain forklift and 25-foot tractor trailer.

 The final scores of each event added together to determine the overall winner.

 Senior Master Sgt. Robert Ward, Tech. Sgt. Michael Morris and Staff Sgt. Michael Hill were the vehicle operators for the 139th LRS, competing against six other U.S. Air Force bases in the region.

 The timing of the event had a personal significance to team leader SMSgt. Ward. On May 21, 1997 he started his technical school at Fort Leonard Wood learning the same skills that 20-years later, to the day, would earn him and his team a first place trophy.

 Among seven teams, the 139th AW was the only Guard unit in attendance. That was a detail that didn’t seem to matter. “Everybody at the event had a positive attitude,” Ward said. He reflected on the times during breaks when all the team would meet up for games of washers and corn hole.

 The Ground Transportation Career Field manager, Chief Master Sgt. Jason Hohenstreiter, repeated those sentiments. He told “The Guidon”, the newspaper for Fort Leonard Wood, that the main goal of the rodeo was to bring the “family” together for friendly competition.

 Even though to Ward it felt “awesome” to win, the opportunity to trade knowledge and experience at a “family reunion” that the rodeo provided was the main take-away from the event.