Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, commander, U.S. Strategic Command, and Mr. Jack Baker, member of Strategic Command Consultation Committee, presented the Omaha Trophy for Best Strategic Aircraft category to Strategic Communications Wing One at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. More photos available.
Strategic Communications Wing 1 (SCW-1) was presented the 2008 Omaha Trophy Strategic Aircraft Operations Award by Gen. Kevin Chilton, commander, U.S. Strategic Command, and Mr. Jack Baker, a member of the Strategic Command Consultation Committee, during a ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base Nov. 12.
Selection for the award is based on formal evaluations, meritorious achievement, safety, and other factors, such as community involvement and humanitarian actions.
"I'm ecstatic with this selection and extremely honored," said Capt. Dwight Shepherd, commander, Strategic Communications Wing 1. "It reinforces what I have always thought about our great Sailors, civilians and contractors. Their focus on mission accomplishment is second-to-none. When called upon, they will flawlessly execute the vital mission of strategic aircraft operations and nuclear deterrence. "
Gen. Chilton recognized many of SCW-1's major accomplishments in 2008 during his remarks. A few of those accomplishments included providing communication relay to troops on the ground in Iraq, being the first Naval Aviation organization to operate an airborne internet protocol capability, and maintaining an impeccable safety record.
"You took this fantastically capable nuclear command and control platform and sent it over to the desert to do anything but nuclear command and control," said Gen. Chilton. It was over there performing communication relay in support of the men and women on the ground in Iraq. What was most significant was not the mismatch of capability of what was going on it was the "Esprit de corps" and the "can do attitude" of every member of the community. In the end what SCW-1 ended up doing was saving American lives. "
"From a safety aspect, I can't imagine another organization that can hold a candle to the safety record of SCW-1," said Chilton. In 2008, SCW-1 surpassed over 587,000 mishap free hours of aviation which is absolutely astounding. That doesn't happen by accident. That happens through professionalism, attention to detail, strong leadership in the officer and NCO area, and flat out execution on the flight line and in the back shops of the maintenance. That's what accounts for that kind of safety record. "
"Winning the Omaha Trophy is like winning the World Series in our business," said. Gen. Chilton. "SCW-1 should be very proud of the efforts and accomplishments that were made in 2008 to deserve this award. "
Gen. Chilton also went on to thank the SCW-1 families.
"I would like to recognize the strength that we all know exists between each and every one of us and that's the family members of SCW-1. Those that keep the home fires burning that allow you to put on the uniform everyday, that allow you to deploy forward, that allow you to do the things that you did in 2008. A big compliment goes out to your loved ones at home. Whether they are here with you in Oklahoma City or elsewhere around the United States of America, I know they supported you every step along the way. "
The Omaha Trophy is presented to U.S. Strategic Command units in four different categories: Global Operations, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Strategic Aircraft Operations and Submarine Ballistic Missile.
The Omaha Trophy award was created by the Strategic Command Consultation Committee, which is out of Omaha, Neb. The Strategic Air Command Consultation Committee first presented the Omaha Trophy as a single trophy to the Strategic Air Command in 1971 on behalf of the citizens of Omaha. The number of awards increased over the years as the U.S. Strategic Command's missions and organizational structure changed. The four current categories reflect the command's primary lines of operations and continued emphasis on strategic deterrence and its evolving role in global operations.