2nd annual competition shows off weapons capabilities

The 27th Special Operations Wing load crew of the year trophy sits atop a display table in the competition arena Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Cannon’s elite weapons troops came together for the second consecutive year to display load capabilities and precision. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

The 27th Special Operations Wing load crew of the year trophy sits atop a display table in the competition arena Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Cannon’s elite weapons troops came together for the second consecutive year to display load capabilities and precision. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Tech. Sgt. Olin Smith, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit, conducts final checks pertaining to what was loaded during Cannon’s annual weapons load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Although the AC-130W team finished their objectives first, final results will not be announced until the Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet slated for later this month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Tech. Sgt. Olin Smith, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit, conducts final checks pertaining to what was loaded during Cannon’s annual weapons load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Although the AC-130W team finished their objectives first, final results will not be announced until the Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet slated for later this month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airman 1st Class Nathanael Butterfield, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit, secures a BRU-61 cradle during an annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Inspections and functional checks are a critical component of loading aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airman 1st Class Nathanael Butterfield, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit, secures a BRU-61 cradle during an annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Inspections and functional checks are a critical component of loading aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airman 1st Class Jonathan Marsico, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron MQ-9/CV-22 armament unit, works to secure an inert GBU-12 during an annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Both teams worked diligently to showcase skills during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airman 1st Class Jonathan Marsico, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron MQ-9/CV-22 armament unit, works to secure an inert GBU-12 during an annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Both teams worked diligently to showcase skills during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airman 1st Class Nathanael Butterfield, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit, maneuvers an MHU-83 and loading extension during an annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Crews worked diligently to showcase skills during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airman 1st Class Nathanael Butterfield, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit, maneuvers an MHU-83 and loading extension during an annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Crews worked diligently to showcase skills during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airmen from the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit load an inert GBU-39 on an AC-130 trainer during an annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Teams worked quickly in an attempt to claim victory during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airmen from the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit load an inert GBU-39 on an AC-130 trainer during an annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Teams worked quickly in an attempt to claim victory during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airmen from the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron MQ-9/CV-22 armament unit load an inert GBU-38 on an MQ-9 Reaper during Cannon’s annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Both teams moved quickly in an attempt to claim victory during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airmen from the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron MQ-9/CV-22 armament unit load an inert GBU-38 on an MQ-9 Reaper during Cannon’s annual load competition Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Both teams moved quickly in an attempt to claim victory during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airman 1st Class Dylan Yarish, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit, makes load preparations to a MAU-40 bomb rack Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Weapons troops provided a real-time look into career field precision during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Airman 1st Class Dylan Yarish, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W armament unit, makes load preparations to a MAU-40 bomb rack Feb. 5, 2016, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Weapons troops provided a real-time look into career field precision during the second consecutive competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- For the second time, Cannon’s fierce weapons troops from the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron AC-130W, and MQ-9/CV-22 armament units came together for a raw display of tenacity and precise skills for what has quickly become the maintenance competition of the year, Feb. 5.

Cannon hosted its first weapons load competition last year, and it was met with eager participation and intense determination – not a far cry from what crews brought this year.

According to officials heading the event, load competitions are an Air Force legacy; the demonstration of talent brought by members of the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group depicts weapons loading at its finest.

Cannon has been able to benchmark these competitions within Air Force Special Operations Command due largely to the expanding capabilities of weapons platforms.

A familiar face in this year’s arena was Tech. Sgt. Olin Smith, 27th SOMXS AC-130W armament unit.

“I think I said it best last year, we are an incredibly competitive career field,” he stated. “We are contributing to the same mission, but we all strive for perfection in our own respect. My team came out not just to compete, but to win – this is a matter of pride for our unit.”

And just like last year, this year’s winners were not announced and will remain unknown until the Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet slated for later this month.

“This was not about winning or losing, it was about showcasing what armament is capable of,” said Senior Airman Michael Mendes, 27th SOMXS MQ-9/CV-22 armament unit. “We were the lucky few selected this year to display our precision to leadership and hopefully claim another win for the RPA section. We came out, gave it our all and proved again how relevant we are to the mission of the 27th Special Operations Wing.”