Hill AFB Airmen place at Air Force Lineman Rodeo

Senior Airman James Thompson, Senior Airman Luis Quesada and Senior Airman Clint Smith made up this year’s Hill Air Force team who compete at the annual U.S. Air Force Lineman Rodeo at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Photos by Beth Young

Senior Airman James Thompson, Senior Airman Luis Quesada and Senior Airman Clint Smith made up this year’s Hill Air Force team who compete at the annual U.S. Air Force Lineman Rodeo at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Photos by Beth Young

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Climbing to the top of 45-foot poles is all in a day's work for 75th Civil Engineer Squadron electricians, nevertheless, these everyday skills have recently earned a team from Hill Air Force Base second place in the fifth annual U.S. Air Force Lineman Rodeo at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. 

"The main reason we want to send a team is to increase our proficiency and get good experience for the guys, plus it's great competition with the other major commands," said Lt. Col. Brett Crozier, 75 CES commander. "That Hill Air Force Base took second place is something we are very proud of." 

Through several timed events, the competition tested the skills and abilities of teams of Air Force electricians, as they climbed 40 feet above the ground on electric poles. The members of this year's team were Senior Airmen James Thompson, Luis Quesada and Clint Smith. 

"In the pole top rescue event, they have a dummy up there and we simulate bringing him down," Airman Thompson said. 

Although they do workplace simulations, they also have some competitions just for fun. In the egg climb, competitors carry a raw egg to the top of the pole in a bag and attempt to carry it back down in their mouth without breaking it. 

"We were the only team who didn't break it," Airman Thompson said.
This is only the second year Hill Air Force Base has competed in the rodeo. Last year they took fifth place. 

"Last year the team that came back learned a lot of lessons and one of the members of last year's team trained this year's team which contributed to the second place," Colonel Crozier said. 

To rank the teams, all of the scores from each event are calculated. Airman Thompson said that for Hill AFB, it was a close second. 

"We lost by 10 seconds or one point," he said. "It was a good training experience for everybody and it was a lot of fun."