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News | Aug. 26, 2009

341st Missile Wing wins back-to-back Omaha Trophy award

By Staff Sgt. Eydie Sakura 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office

Col. Michael Fortney, 341st Missile Wing commander (center), points to Malmstrom Airmen after receiving the 2008 Omaha Trophy from Gen. Kevin Chilton, U.S. Strategic Command commander (right), and Mr. Gary Gates, USSTRATCOM Consultation Committee representative (left), Aug. 26 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. (U.S. Air Force photo/Beau Wade)
Col. Michael Fortney, 341st Missile Wing commander (center), points to Malmstrom Airmen after receiving the 2008 Omaha Trophy from Gen. Kevin Chilton, U.S. Strategic Command commander (right), and Mr. Gary Gates, USSTRATCOM Consultation Committee representative (left), Aug. 26 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Beau Wade)

Safely and securely deactivating the Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting-B weapon system, flawlessly inactivating the 564th Missile Squadron, and successfully leading the command's first follow-on test and evaluation task force in years, were the key ingredients to Team Malmstrom winning the U.S. Strategic Command Consultation Committee's Omaha Trophy award.

Gen. Kevin Chilton, USSTRATCOM commander, and Mr. Gary Gates, representing the Strategic Command Consultation Committee, presented the Omaha Trophy to the 341st Missile Wing commander, Col. Michael Fortney, and the men and women of Malmstrom Air Force Base Aug. 26 at the base auditorium.

"When I reflect back on the year 2008, it was an amazing year for the 341st [Missile Wing]," General Chilton said. "You were challenged and you were tested; yet throughout that time, you did exactly what our nation asked you to do. You were ready and through your demonstrated readiness you were operationally delivering strategic deterrence for the defense of this nation. "

Colonel Fortney said, "The Omaha Trophy is a base award, and every single person who contributes to the mission is responsible for the win. Whether it is an Airman working in the dining facility, a civilian in the Travel Management Office, a CE ""Dirt Boy,' missile engineer, one of our mighty medics, a care-giver at the Child Development Center, or one of our ""NUC Gorillas' -- Ops, Cops and Maintenance -- each of you is vital to this important mission. "

"Whether you're enlisted, officer or civilian alike, you made this happen," Colonel Fortney said to an auditorium filled with members of Team Malmstrom. "This trophy is made of very shiny silver and is going to be on display at [headquarters], and I want every one of you to come by and take a look at it. And when you look into the face of that shiny trophy, you're going to see your face reflected back, and the symbolism there is important. I want you to think about that. Each and every one of you had something to do with this. It's about what you do every day and it's not about the trophy. What you do is important to the Air Force, U.S. Strategic Command and it's ultimately critical to the nation. Thank you for your hard work and it's appreciated. Congratulations!""
The Omaha Trophy is awarded to a unit who demonstrates the highest standards of performance, and the selection for the award is based on meritorious achievements, safety, community involvement and humanitarian actions. The 341st MW won the Omaha Trophy in 2007 as well.

"There is no higher calling in military service and that is what you are a part of," General Chilton said. "You provide the strategic deterrent backbone for the United States of America at this wing. It doesn't happen by just showing up for work; it happens by demonstrating every day that you are ready and that you are a professional. You strive for perfection in everything you do. "

Malmstrom's effectiveness toward global security was showcased throughout 2008 in each unit's individual job performances and tasks to mission success; however, a few stand out as key achievements to receiving this award. They include expertly administering 780 launch control center simulated rides providing more than 5,700 hours of training where 135 were marked as highly qualified crew members--the most in Air Force Space Command; conducting 575 flying weather briefs enabling more than 2,700 incident-free flying hours; and recycling roughly 4,300 tons of concrete and asphalt into base roads saving $180,000 in disposal and product costs.

Team Malmstrom also received many awards including the Blanchard Trophy, back-to-back Blackburn Trophy wins; the Verne Orr Award for best use of resources, and the Colonel Lee R. Williams Award as ""Best ICBM Wing""; 20 Air Force-level annual awards; and numerous Air Force Space Command awards and recognition. The wing also prepped 164 RED HORSE engineers for a 179-day deployment to eight different locations in Southwest Asia as well as deployed 303 Airmen to support the war effort overseas. Malmstrom Airmen were awarded six Bronze Star Medals, 12 Air Force Combat Action Medals, and one Purple Heart.

The year also brought many inspections and evaluations to the wing. The 341st Operations Group powered the 2008 Nuclear Surety Inspection rating of ""Excellent"" for Nuclear Control Orders Procedures with one minor in 13 evaluations; the code team ""performed flawlessly while encoding multiple components"" during the 2008 Operational Readiness Inspection; and the 341st Security Forces Group managed and responded to the 4,554 security alert messaging system, roughly 1,900 penetrated sites and more than 140 Category One movements.
Team Malmstrom personnel demonstrated their commitment to taking care of their people by managing AFSPC's largest military construction program by designing and constructing $258 million in innovative military family housing units; upgrading 15 missile alert facilities with $200,000 in furniture and $185,000 gym equipment to boost morale; and the ""Detour"" Airmen's Center is the command's model for Airman quality-of-life where more than 1,600 Airmen enjoy an alcohol-free alternative.

"When adversaries look across the ocean at the United States of America and see you, and the capabilities you present and have ready to deliver at a moment's notice, and at the president's beckoning, [now] that's deterrence," General Chilton said. "You are operational and you are in the fight every day at this wing. Our vital interests are protected without firing a shot. ""