BULLY! 91st…Always First!
By Kiley Swopes, Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
/ Published November 15, 2012
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Airmen from the 91st Missile Wing returned home from the third annual Air Force Global Strike Command Global Strike Challenge score posting event, held at Barksdale AFB, LA., from Nov. 5-7 after dominating the competition.
Global Strike Challenge events provide teams the opportunity to improve their knowledge, readiness and effectiveness through intense preparation and spirited competition.
Competition categories include bomber, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and helicopter operations, bomber and ICBM maintenance and security forces.
The 91st MW competed for the Blanchard Trophy, named after General William H. Blanchard, former U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff. The trophy was first presented in competition in 1967 and it is awarded to the missile wing achieving the highest combined score in the mission areas of operations, maintenance and security forces during the challenge.
"I felt our entire team really worked hard preparing for their individual competitions," Col. Robert Vercher, 91st MW commander, said. "Last year our Wing came really close to winning the Blanchard and this year they all seemed determined to go the extra mile preparing to win it all this year."
For the second consecutive year, the 54th Helicopter Squadron was awarded the Bourland Trophy for Best Helicopter Squadron and the Best Helo Tactical Crew award.
Also, for the second consecutive year, the 91st MW won the Best Security Forces Mental and Physical Challenge and the Charlie Fire Team Trophy for Best Overall Security Forces Team.
Staff Sgt. Steven Whaley, 91st Security Forces Group member, received the Security Forces Best M9 Shooter.
The 91st MW was also awarded Best ICBM Munitions Team and Best ICBM Electro Mechanical Team.
"I had very mixed emotions watching the score posting," Vercher said. "On one hand I knew that we had spent months working on our skills and getting our teams as ready as possible, so I was quite proud no matter how the scores came out. On the other hand, I was quite nervous watching the score go up. We kept winning major portions of the competitions and it seemed very possible that we could win the Blanchard."
The 91st MW received 3,819 out of 4,500 points overall making them the winner of the Blanchard Trophy for Best Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Wing.
"I am immensely proud of our team and especially their trainers who put their professional heart and souls into their team and got to see them win the Super Bowl of ICBMs," Vercher said. "Winning the Blanchard is the highest professional honor for an ICBM wing--it really means you are the best of the best!"
To conclude score posting events, the 91st MW was awarded the Spirit Bell award, given to the team who best represents Global Strike Challenge teamwork and esprit de corps.
This year's competition added in an ICBM Nuclear Munitions team with efforts contributing towards the Blanchard Trophy.
"The 705 MUNS from the 5th Bomb Wing dominated their counter parts from the other two ICBM bases," Vercher said. "Their team competed for the 91 MW and we could not have won the Blanchard without them winning 'Best ICBM Nuclear MUNS'."
Competitors included Airmen from Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command and the Air Force Reserve Command. Team participants included the "best of the best" missile crew, maintenance and security forces teams from Malmstrom AFB, MT.; Minot AFB, N.D.; F.E. Warren AFB, WY. Top Aircrew, maintenance and security forces teams from Whiteman AFB, MO.; Minot AFB, N.D.; Dyess AFB, TX.; Ellsworth AFB, S.D.; and Barksdale AFB, LA. also participated.