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Meet Malmstrom's Global Strike Challenge MUNS Team

  • Published
  • By John Turner
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
The 341st Munitions Squadron's Global Strike Challenge 2015 team is hard at work preparing for Air Force Global Strike Command's annual intercontinental ballistic missile maintenance competition, practicing six days a week to prove itself the fastest and most precise MUNS team in 20th Air Force when it enters the ring Sept 2-4 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

Speed drills for an event called 'handling rodeo' was the on the training docket Aug. 25 as team members practiced to shave precious milliseconds off their time to move two warhead storage containers through a serpentine course in the weapons storage area. In the actual competition, the best of four runs will count towards the final score, with points deducted for knocking over traffic cones and other discrepancies. The team will also assemble a MK21 reentry system and install a shroud during the competition's other two events.

"I'm honored to train these fine technicians," said Tech. Sgt. Robert DeMarino, team trainer. "They are some of the best I've ever worked with."

DeMarino has more than 16 years of MUNS experience to draw from including two previous assignments at Malmstrom.

The MUNS team is the first of five 341st Maintenance Group teams scheduled to represent the 341st Missile Wing in GSC 2015. The other teams are from the 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron and 341st Maintenance Operations Squadron, and will compete Sept. 8-10 at Malmstrom.

The ICBM maintenance competition pits Malmstrom against similar teams from Minot AFB, North Dakota, and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, who also will be scored at their home locations. Final scores will be revealed in October.

In a display of unity, Malmstrom's MUNS team rallied around its adopted standard--a frayed 'Jolly Roger' flag--as each member took a moment to reflect on GSC 2015.

"We've practiced operations and studied six days a week for the last six and a half months," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Hayworth, team chief. "We did a lot of research to see where we could cut our time effectively."

Hayworth said it is important to him to be in this year's competition and have a hand in the team's success. He is "extremely excited" about the competition.

"I love turning wrenches on (nuclear weapons)," he said.

Hayworth has been at Malmstrom four and a half years and is married and has two dogs. He enjoys snowboarding.

"This is our time to shine and to show what the squadron is all about," said Staff Sgt. Sean Glenn, the team's bay chief.

Glenn has been in the Air Force for 13 years, seven of them at Malmstrom, and enjoys snowboarding and outdoor activities, reading and working out in his off-time.

Senior Airman Matthew Gish is the only MUNS team member who has competed in a prior GSC. He brings the spirit to this year's team, according to his teammates.

"I'm excited to do it again and compete as hard as I can so we can bring back the gold," Gish said. "This year we have more of an identity," adding that the team's pirate flag is a big part of that.

Gish has been in the Air Force three years, most of that time at Malmstrom, and says he likes trucks and food.

Senior Airman Megan Dees, team member, has also been in the Air Force three years, two and a half of them at Malmstrom. She describes her interests as travelling, camping and hiking, and reading historical and science fiction. She also likes to cook.

"I'm really excited to be on the team," Dees said. "It's a great feeling to know leadership chose you to win, because that's what we're here to do."

Senior Airman Andrew Matthews, team member, has been at Malmstrom two and a half years, and is also motivated to perform well in GSC 2015.

"I bleed blue about the team," he said.

Matthews is married and has two children. His leisure interests include video games and target shooting.

Senior Airman Joshua Cox, team member, has four years of experience at Malmstrom, and said he likes the maintenance group because it is a good unit to be a part of.

"I'm excited to show the rest of our career field that this is the best place to do maintenance," Cox said. "We're the best at it."

Senior Airman Rachel Ward is the team's alternate member.

Global Strike Challenge is the world's premier bomber, intercontinental ballistic missile and security forces competition. Through competition and teamwork at various locations throughout the country, the event looks to foster esprit de corps, recognize outstanding AFGSC personnel and teams and improve combat capabilities. More than 450 Airmen from across AFGSC, as well as the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Air Combat Command will take part in Global Strike Challenge competitions at various locations throughout the country.

The wing's GSC 2015 official kickoff event is Aug. 28 at the Grizzly Bend.