All-Female USAF Team Wins Bomb-Building Competition with 'Rosie the Riveter' Tribute

U.S Airmen from the 31st Munition Squadron and the 731st Munition Squadron
U.S Airmen from the 31st Munition Squadron and the 731st Munition Squadron and leadership pose for a photo at compete at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Jan. 7, 2020. The “Bouncing Bettys” team had a higher overall score and will have their names etched on plaques, which will be added to the 31st MUNS heritage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ericka A. Woolever)

The first all-female team to compete in the Rapid Aircraft Generation and Employment competition at Aviano Air Base, Italy, took home the win, the Air Force announced last week. And they did it while wearing costumes that paid tribute to Rosie the Riveter.

The RAGE contest began last October to highlight several adaptive basing procedures and is being held quarterly. Last year, a team named "Wing it" won.

The Bouncing Bettys, the six-airman team that won Jan. 7, was from the 31st Munition Squadron and the 731st Munition Squadron. The team members overcame six evaluated events: a written test, stockpile practices, trailer configuration, trailer re-configuration, 463L palletization and a weapons build.

One of the competitions had them conduct an inert bomb build.

Related: Woman Identified as Inspiration for Rosie the Riveter Dies

Named after M16 land mines, the team was made up of two munitions inspectors, two stockpile management technicians, a munition control supervisor and a noncommissioned officer in charge of the 31st MUNS conventional munitions support.

It was the idea of Air Force Staff. Sgt. Ana L. Merkel, a munitions inspector, to have the team dress as Women Ordnance Workers -- the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter -- and highlight the "impact females have on Sortie generations," an Air Force news release noted.

Wearing dark blue jumpsuits, a brown belt and signature red bandanas with white polka dots, the women hoped to honor those who "paved the way" by working in manufacturing during World War I and World War II, the release said.

In honor of their win, the women will have their names etched on plaques to be displayed at the unit.

-- Dorothy Mills-Gregg can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @DMillsGregg.

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