Malmstrom receives Omaha Trophy; STRATCOM vice talks GBSD, future threats, missions
Earlier this summer, the 341st Missile Wing was again named winner of the Omaha Trophy and on Wednesday, U.S. Strategic Command Deputy Commander Vice Adm. Dave Kriete presented the trophy to Col. Christopher Menuey, Malmstrom’s operations group commander, and the wing.
During the ceremony, Meuney said the back to back trophy win is a testament to the wing’s character, credibility and dedication to the intercontinental ballistic missile mission, which is one leg of the nuclear deterrent triad.
“We will always be America’s ace in the hole,” Meuney said.
The 341st Missile Wing won the award for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2015 and 2017.
In an interview with media following the ceremony, Kriete said nuclear deterrence remains the bedrock of the national defense and though the triad is regular reviewed, the nation’s leaders continually come to the same conclusion that the triad is effective.
As the nuclear weapons systems are being modernized and base closures are always a consideration to reduce costs, Kriete said he sees “no signs this base will close.”
The ICBM leg of the triad is critical and Malmstrom plays a role in that national security stragety, Kriete said.
The Air Force is currently in the early stages of developing the new ground based strategic deterrent, or GBSD, which will replace the current Minuteman III missile system currently in use.
Kriete said he has “great confidence” in the people developing the new weapon system to consider current threats such as cyber and physical and to also consider threats that may be on the horizon.
“We’re going to get this right,” he said.
The U.S. Space Command was established at the end of August and hypersonic missiles are being studied in terms of adding them to the U.S. arsenal as well as defending against them and Kriete said those could create opportunities for Malmstrom and the Great Falls community to add missions.
The military is constantly evolving and adapting, he said, and if a base or community has the ability, space and capacity to absorb new missions, they should make leadership award, Kriete said.
“The Omaha Trophy represents the best of the best in units executing strategic deterrence,” Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command said in a June release. “This year’s winners distinguished themselves through tireless effort, hard work and meticulous attention to detail. Of USSTRATCOM’s 162,000 warfighters critical to the security of our nation; this year you are first among equals.”
“Whether you work under the ground, under the sea, or in the air, each nominated unit deserves recognition. It’s because of you we are the most powerful command on the planet. Thank you for the important work you do each and every day,” Hyten said in a release.
The Omaha Trophy, dates back to the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command and was originally created by the Strategic Air Command Consultation Committee in 1971.
At the time, a single trophy was presented annually as a token of appreciation to the command’s best wing. The SCC – an advisory group comprised of business leaders in the Omaha area – became the Strategic Command Consultation Committee after the activation of U.S. Strategic Command in 1992.
Since then, the tradition has evolved to five awards to recognize USSTRATCOM’s premier intercontinental ballistic missile wing, ballistic missile submarine, strategic bomber wing, global operations (space/cyberspace) unit and strategic aircraft wing.
“Each year the Strategic Command Consultation Committee looks forward to recognizing the excellence demonstrated by USSTRATCOM’s finest strategic units,” SCC Chairman Ken Stinson said in a release. “On behalf of the committee, and the greater Omaha community, congratulations and thank you to you and your families for all that you do for our great nation. We salute you.”
USSTRATCOM has global responsibilities assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, cyberspace operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.
The 2018 Omaha Trophy recipient organizations are:
– Intercontinental Ballistic Missile: 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana
– Ballistic Missile Submarine: USS Nevada (SSBN-733), Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Washington
– Strategic Bomber: 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri
– Strategic Aircraft: 117th Air Refueling Wing, Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base, Alabama
– Global Operations: 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado