Whiteman, Malmstrom Claim Global Strike Challenge Top Prizes

Air Force Global Strike Command named the top bomber and ICBM wings during a ceremony marking the conclusion of the annual Global Strike Challenge at Barksdale AFB, La. The 509th Bomb Wing from Whiteman AFB, Mo., and the Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Bomb Wing took home the Fairchild Trophy for best bomb wing for the fourth time since the competition began in 2010. The 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., claimed the Blanchard Trophy for the best ICBM wing for the first time as part of the Global Strike Challenge. The wing last won the trophy in 2008 during Air Force Space Command’s Guardian Challenge, a wing spokeswoman told Air Force Magazine. The award demonstrates how far the wing has come since last year’s cheating scandal. “It’s a trend, and we’re trending in the right direction,” Malmstrom Vice Commander Col. Jay Folds told the Great Falls Tribune. Although Folds acknowledged there is still work to do, he said morale has greatly improved. “This is our Top Gun. These airmen are the best of the best. We just delivered on that, we just proved that to the world,” reported the paper. Airmen from AFGSC’s nine wings participated in the 2015 challenge along with units from Air Combat Command, Air Force Reserve Command, and the Air National Guard, states a release.