WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. –
Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas Bussiere presented the Omaha Trophy to the 509th Operations Support Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base on August 4, 2022.
The Omaha Trophy was created at the tail end of the Vietnam War in 1971 as a single award to recognize the best wing of the Strategic Air Command. It was originally given by the Strategic Air Command Consultation Committee, a group of civic leaders that advised the SAC.
Today, four U.S. Strategic Command units are presented with the award to recognize the best units across the different components of the nuclear triad, with one trophy each going to the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, Ballistic Missile Submarines, Strategic Bomber, and Global Operations communities. The former Strategic Air Command Consultation Committee, now known as the Strategic Command Consultation Committee, or SCC, still gives the award.
“Winning the Omaha Trophy is a huge honor for the 509th Operations Support Squadron because it shows the confidence and trust the Combatant Commander has in our unit to execute nuclear or conventional missions,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Diller, 509th Operations Support Squadron commander. “It is also a stark reminder our nation could call on us at any time to execute global operations and we must be ready to fight.”
Part of the Omaha Trophy tradition is that the winning unit exchanges a patch for an SCC challenge coin. That patch then joins the patches of past winning units on the Omaha Trophy Wall of Honor at STRATCOM headquarters on Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
The 509th OSS is now going to be a lasting part of the Omaha Trophy legacy, just as this trophy is now part of theirs.
“It’s a joy to know we were able to win the award,” said Major Simmona Ahn, 509th OSS assistant director of operations, “but it’s so rewarding to have a team that takes so much pride in the mission, even if we didn’t receive this recognition they would still be nose to the grindstone just because that’s what they want to do.”
The Omaha trophy couldn’t have been won without Airmen who understand how important their place is in the mission, she said.
“I’m so grateful to be surrounded by a group of such dedicated teammates and individuals who are such excellent professionals,” Ahn said.
Ahn said she and her team are proud to stand on the shoulders of giants. The Omaha Trophy showcases STRATCOM’s lethality and readiness past and present; and this year, the Airmen of the 509th OSS etched their names in history.
“Our squadron motto is if you want peace prepare for war,” Ahn said. “To me, it’s something very humbling to know that everyday whether it’s something like rerigging a parachute, making a minor repair, or issuing a flight record, they are all preparation for our greater mission which is to be ready to strike anytime globally.”