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Global Strike Challenge Pits Best Against The Best
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright
January 8, 2018

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Throughout 2017, all bomb and missile wings from Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) competed against each other in multiple bomber operations, bomber maintenance, Inter Continental Ballistic Missile operations and maintenance, helicopter operations and Security Forces competitions. This is known as Global Strike Challenge.

The challenge identifies the best operations, maintenance and Security Forces personnel and units performing the AFGSC mission through competition by measuring mission proficiency of teams.

The 2nd Bomb Wing competed for the title of “Best Bomb Wing” through Bomber operations, bomber maintenance and Security Forces competitions. Each competition as well as each section will have their own awards.

November 15, 2017 - The 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, took home the Fairchild Trophy for Best Bomb Wing in Global Strike Command during the 2017 Global Strike Challenge. Trophies were awarded during a score posting event at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright)
November 15, 2017 - The 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, took home the Fairchild Trophy for Best Bomb Wing in Global Strike Command during the 2017 Global Strike Challenge. Trophies were awarded during a score posting event at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright)

The Security Forces units were sent to Camp Guernsey, Wyoming to compete in firing competitions, active shooter drills, resource recovery and mental and physical challenges.

The bomber portions were on June 26th and 28th, with two B-52 Stratofortresses flying each day. They flew to Utah to conduct bombing runs against the B-52s from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, as well as the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit.

For Bomber Maintenance there is a nuclear and conventional side for each competition which feature crew chiefs, weapons loaders and munitions. The difference between nuclear and conventional competitions is that the nuclear competitions have extra steps and duties due to more requirements.

Global Strike Challenge isn’t just about winning trophies, but also about pushing our Airmen to be even better at their jobs than they were before.

“We put our blood, sweat and tears into practicing, making everything second hand reflexes,” said Senior Airmen Katelyn Sonberg, 2nd Munitions Squadron. “To the competition, watch out because we are coming and we are going to crush you.”

Another way the challenge helps Airmen is that if one Wing is better at one competition than another, they can communicate to further the mission by trading each other’s best practices with each other.

November 15, 2017 - The 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, took home the Blanchard Trophy for Best ICBM Wing in Global Strike Command during the 2017 Global Strike Challenge. Trophies were awarded during a score posting event at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright)
November 15, 2017 - The 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, took home the Blanchard Trophy for Best ICBM Wing in Global Strike Command during the 2017 Global Strike Challenge. Trophies were awarded during a score posting event at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright)

“If we are doing something better than Minot Air Force Base is, or vice versa, this is the time we get to showcase to our command who in turn can take that and assimilate it across the command to make our whole command better,” said Senior Master Sgt. Dean Middleton, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Unit assistant superintendent.

Not only will this make our Airmen faster and more proficient at their jobs, but also more combat ready.

“The pressure from competition puts the Airmen in a stressed environment,” said Middleton. “If they can operate in that environment, if you put them in a live fire situation or hostile environment the pressure will be different, but it will be pressure none the less.”

After months of competition between Wings across the command, the competitors get to see their hard work pay off at the Global Strike Challenge score posting.

By U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Stuart Bright
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2018

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