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Winning wings returning to defend Global Strike Challenge trophies

The 90th Missile Wing from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., was awarded the Blanchard Trophy for best missile wing during the Global Strike Challenge score posting events at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 17. The trophy is named after Gen. William H. Blanchard, Strategic Air Command's Director of Operations in the early 1960s, and is one of the top two awards for the competition. For Global Strike Challenge, teams had mascots and spirit uniforms to show esprit de corps. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chad Warren)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - The 90th Missile Wing from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., was awarded the Blanchard Trophy for best missile wing during the 2010 Global Strike Challenge at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 17, 2010. The trophy is named after Gen. William H. Blanchard, Strategic Air Command's Director of Operations in the early 1960s, and is one of the top two awards for the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chad Warren)

The 509th Bomb Wing from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., was awarded the Fairchild Trophy for best bombardment wing during the Global Strike Challenge score posting events at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 17. The trophy is named after Gen. Muir S. Fairchild, former U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, and is one of the competition's top two awards. For Global Strike Challenge, teams had mascots and spirit uniforms to show esprit de corps. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sergeant Corey A. Clements)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - The 509th Bomb Wing from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., was awarded the Fairchild Trophy for best bombardment wing during the 2010 Global Strike Challenge at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 17, 2010. The trophy is named after Gen. Muir S. Fairchild, former U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, and is one of the competition's top two awards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sergeant Corey A. Clements)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Last year during the first-ever Global Strike Challenge, two Global Strike Command wings were recognized as the "best of the best" in overall bomber and missile operations.

The competition rewards excellent performance scores in operations, security forces and maintenance categories with wings competing from across Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command, the Air National Guard and Air Reserve Command.

"Competition promotes a culture of excellence and expertise," said Lt. Col. Mike Petrosh, Global Strike Challenge project officer. "Our leaders have made it clear that we must recognize and reward excellence, and those who excel, in order to be successful at building and sustaining a Global Strike Command culture that ensures safe, secure and effective nuclear and global strike operations."

The Fairchild Trophy, awarded to the best bomb wing overall, and the Blanchard Trophy, awarded to the best missile wing overall; have been compared to top honors in the sports world. These trophies have a long heritage of being the focal point for bomber and ICBM competitions, starting with Strategic Air Command and continuing on through other Air Force competitions such as Air Force Space Command's "Guardian Challenge" and Air Combat Command's storied "Bomb Comp."

The Fairchild Trophy was awarded to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., in 2010--the fifth time the wing has taken home "Best Bomb Wing" honors. The Charlie Fire Trophy for best security forces was also awarded to Whiteman's 509th BW.

The 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., was awarded last year's Blanchard Trophy for best ICBM wing for the fourth time in the base's history.

"The 90th Operations Group is dedicated to keeping the Blanchard Trophy by working as a closely-knit team to repeat [being named] the best missile operations group," said 1st Lt. Paul Comaroto, 320th Missile Squadron deputy missile combat crew commander.

Both trophies, among the other trophies awarded last year, will be returned to the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command in a ceremony during this year's Global Strike Challenge team welcome reception Nov. 7. Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, will honor this year's "best of the best" winning teams at the conclusion of the second night of scoreposting Nov. 9.