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Global Strike Challenge 2011 kicks off

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brian Stives
  • Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
The second-annual Global Strike Challenge culminates Nov. 3 - 9 when the top security forces, maintainers, and missile and bomber crews are recognized as the "best of the best" in their fields.

After months of head-to-head competition, teams arrived in the Shreveport-Bossier City area for a strategic deterrence and global strike technology symposium, the security forces portion of the competition, and official score posting and awards ceremonies at Hoban Hall at Barksdale.

Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, opened the symposium by thanking the Cyber Innovation Center, industry partners, Airmen of Air Force Global Strike Command and senior leaders in attendance. He also highlighted the importance of technology and innovation to the nuclear enterprise and the Air Force.

Global Strike Challenge is an amalgam of the best of the historic bomb competition and the former missile competition held under previous major commands that owned the missile and bomber missions at the time. Global Strike Challenge is unique when compared to those competitions because it includes operations, maintenance and security force participants from both the missile and bomber communities under the 2-year-old Air Force Global Strike Command. It also welcomes teams and weapon systems from other major commands.

Over the years, the competitions built morale and sharpened the competitive edge of Strategic Air Command's bomber, tanker and missile crews under exacting conditions. This year is no different, with an array of high-level speakers and panelists from across the military, industrial and academic spectrum present throughout the three-day symposium.

Scheduled to speak are: Wayne Hudson, Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters; Lt. Gen. Christopher D. Miller, Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs; Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, commander of the Air Force Nuclear Weapon Center; Maj. Gen. Donald Alston, 20th Air Force commander and Maj. Gen. Stephen Wilson, 8th Air Force commander, and Maj. Gen. Gregory Biscone, Director for Operations, US Strategic Command.

Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command and the Air Force Reserve brought their unit's top security forces Airmen to Louisiana to compete for the Charlie Fire Team Trophy. Portions of the competition will take place at Fort Polk and Camp Minden, La.

The events test tactics, techniques and procedures; firing M4, M9, M203 and M240B weapons; protection of Air Force assets; and a mental and physical challenge course where the teams complete a multitude of mental tests, all while enduring strenuous physical activities and combat skills evaluations including reconnaissance, map and compass use; operation in chemically contaminated environments; and battlefield medical care.

Global Strike Challenge will conclude with spotlights, thumping music, mascots and giant video screens greeting the teams during traditional score postings and trophy presentations over two nights at Hoban Hall on base, Nov. 8-9.

Last year, the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., won the Fairchild Trophy for best bomb wing and Charlie Fire Trophy for best security forces while the 90th Missile Wing, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., took home the Blanchard Trophy for best ICBM wing.