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Mon, Jul 12, 2010

First-Ever Air Force Global Strike Challenge Under Way

Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command, And Air Reserve Component Compete For Bragging Rights

Intercontinental ballistic missile, B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress and B-1 Lancer units are competing in the first Global Strike Challenge, showcasing the capabilities and expertise of missile, bomber and security forces Airmen. "Global Strike Challenge will help us build pride and a culture of excellence," said Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, the Air Force Global Strike Command commander. It is "the beginning of a new tradition-- the best of the past launching us into the future," he said.

(L-R) Senior Airman Joshua Price, Staff Sgt. Darrell Rinde Help Build Two Training Bombs AF Photo 

Global Strike Challenge pits units' top security forces, maintainers, and missile and bomber crews in head-to-head competition to be recognized as the best of the best. As many as 400 Airmen are competing, including Airmen from Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command and the Air Reserve Component.

Global Strike Challenge is a combination of the best of what used to be known as "bomb comp" and the best of the former "missile comp," officials said."As our premier crews train with great intensity for this competition, they are at the same time becoming unrivaled technical and weapons systems experts in their given disciplines," the general said. "The knowledge that each Airman gains while preparing for Global Strike Challenge will raise the bar at his or her unit and base, and ultimately strengthen the Air Force nuclear enterprise for years to come."

B-52 Stratofortress File Photo

As part of the competition, competitors will come to the Shreveport-Bossier City area in November for a strategic deterrence and global strike technology symposium, the security forces portion of the competition and official score-posting ceremonies. "The symposium will give us a chance to gather together and exchange lessons learned through combat experience," said Lt. Col. Michael Petrosh, the Global Strike Challenge lead project officer. "This type of cooperation allows us to use this knowledge in future decisions during real-world operations, which is the ultimate benefit of competitions like Global Strike Challenge."

The first scored event started April 12 with a bomb load competition at Minot Air Force Base, ND, hosted by the 5th Bomb Wing's maintenance group. "This gives our Airmen an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of a huge audience," said Chief Master Sgt. Dan North, the 5th Maintenance Group superintendent.

B-1B Lancer File Photo

The 5th Bomb Wing is competing against the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, TX, the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, SD, and the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, MO. AFRC's 917th Wing at Barksdale AFB and the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing are also participating in the bomb competition. Also invited to compete are B-1 Lancer teams from Ellsworth AFB and its operations support, weapons school, and weapons test squadrons, officials said.

The missile competition, starting at the end of August, will involve the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, WY, the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB and the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, MT. The security forces competition is scheduled to begin Nov. 13 at Barksdale AFB.

Official score-posting will be at Barksdale AFB Nov. 15 through 18, in conjunction with the Global Strike Challenge technology symposium.



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