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315 AW paper airplanes take flight at JB Charleston

315 AW paper airplanes take flight at JB Charleston

Story by 1st Lt. Marquel Coaxum on 08/19/2019

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, South Carolina The 315th Airlift Wing and Red Bull hosted the Red Bull Paper Wings competition, a qualifier for the world paper airplane championships in Austria, April 13 here.

“Events like this gets everyone out of the office to really be able to laugh with one another and enjoy the company of your wingman, or in this case, laugh at them,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Trotter, a maintainer with the 315th Maintenance Squadron here.

The competition ran deep, as many Joint Base Charleston Airman came out to show their skills. For a chance of winning a spot to compete as a professional paper-airplane engineer in the Red Bull Paper Wings World Final at Salzburg, Austria, in May.

Senior Airman Justin Lacefield, aerospace propulsion specialist with the 437th Maintenance Squadron here and Paper Wings participant here, said “It’s a great feeling to have an uneventful day and then show up to win a competition!”

Airman and leadership alike tried their skills in the competition and were able to flex their paper-airplane design talents. It was an excellent opportunity for Joint Base Charleston to enjoy team building, comradery and one another’s company.

“My chief came out to support us in a unique and fun way, that was a huge morale boost,” said Staff Sgt. Danny Beckwith, a crew chief with the 476th Maintenance Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

While in line to try their odds, Airmen spoke of similar on-base events that drew them out to the event.

“This event reminds me of old times when we used to do team-building activities all the time,” said Tech. Sgt. Mike Bouis, a fuels specialist with the 315th Logistics Readiness Squadron here and Paper Wings participant here.

Bouis has been a part of the Charleston team for over 25 years.
With the help of the staff members, who had folded their fair share of paper airplanes, there were two categories of distance and aerobatics for participants to enter. Most staff members had never interacted with the military community and were excited to see the event come together.

One sponsor staff member said, “From someone who isn’t familiar with the military, this event shows what a big family it is here.”

Following a base tour, visiting Clemson University’s ROTC Cadets joined the festivities to show off the future of the Air Force.

“This event makes me very excited to commission into the Air Force,” said Vince Szczepanik, Paper Wings participant here and ROTC cadet from Clemson University.

All in all, the Red Bull Paper Wings Competition brought future Airman and seasoned veterans together for a fun-filled evening.

“On base events like these bring us together,” said Staff Sgt. Edward Mims, fuels journeyman with the 315th LRS and Paper Wings participant here. “To show that what we do here is more than just work, we’re an Air Force family.”

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