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Guardsmen represent 187th in Montgomery Dragon Boat Race

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Hayden Johnson
  • 187 FW Public Affairs
Members of the 187th Fighter Wing, Montgomery Regional Air National Guard Base, Ala., and their family members participated in the 7th annual Montgomery Dragon Boat Race and Festival Aug. 27, at the Riverfront Park in Montgomery, Ala. 

The team raced three separate heats, the first one being the military challenge which included teams from the 42nd Air Base Wing, Squadron Officer College, and Air Command and Staff College. Although the wing did not place in the military challenge, they placed first in the second heat, and second in the third heat, ultimately performing better than last year.

"We didn't do very well the first race, so I kind of gave like a motivational speech if you will," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Jesse Proctor, the weapons officer with the 100th Fighter Squadron and team captain for the event. "I was like 'you will focus on the drummer, you will be in sync,' and we crushed it the second race."

Along with the members from the wing who participated, the Alabama Air National Guard had a recruiter's tent set up to provide information about career opportunities with the 187th.

"It puts our name out there," said Master Sgt. Janice Nichols, a financial management technician with the 187th Force Support Squadron. "It puts the air guard out there in front of everybody, and it gives the community a sense that we are a part of the community."

Proctor agreed.

"The guard is different than the active duty," Proctor said. "In the guard, I'm a community member, I'm a soccer coach for my kids, and that kind of stuff. It's awesome, actually."

Not only did the wing have an opportunity to interact with the local area community, but the team members were able to meet people from across the wing. Participants included both officers and enlisted, from units like finance, communications, maintenance, security forces, and the wing's pilots, including the wing commander, U.S. Air Force Col. Randy Efferson.

"We were all together," Proctor said. "We didn't really know each other, so I got to meet people I hadn't met before. It was a lot of fun, and it was really cool seeing everybody out there."