Military News

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

5th BW Earns 2014 Omaha Trophy

by Senior Airman Malia Jenkins
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

3/10/2015 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.  -- Minot's Warbirds were named the 2014 Omaha Trophy recipient for the fourth time as the command's premier strategic aircraft operations wing.

The Omaha Trophy is awarded annually to four outstanding units that represent USSTRATCOM's mission areas, their role in global operations and USSTRATCOM's continued emphasis on strategic deterrence.

The level of sustained mission performance while the 5th Bomb Wing had the runway being rebuilt was pretty outstanding, said Col. Jason Armagost, 5th BW commander.

"I think that contributed greatly to the kind of spectrum of mission accomplished," he added. "Counting operations taking place essentially at actually three different locations at once really allowed leadership to shine at the squadron level and above at the group level. They really tackled the challenges they were faced with and they did it in a very high profile way."

"I think the Omaha Trophy in general is a wonderful accomplishment and a huge testament to everything we accomplished in 2014," said Capt. Margaret Ingerslew, 69th Bomb Squadron radar navigator. "We overcame a lot of obstacles: operating out of Guam as well as Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota, because our runway was closed for the majority of the summer. So, having to pick up and transport everything from Airmen to aircraft to maintenance supplies - that's just a huge feat, and I think we did it relatively seamlessly because the mission went on."

The four awards given are the Global Operations, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Submarine Ballistic Missile and Strategic Aircraft Operations trophies. Selections are based on formal evaluations, meritorious achievement, safety and factors such as community involvement and humanitarian actions.

This trophy was first awarded in 1970 by the citizens of Omaha, Nebraska, through the Strategic Air Command Consultation Committee, to the most outstanding SAC wing in honor of the 25th anniversary of the SAC.

In an article written by USSTRATCOM honoring all the recipients for this award, U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander, praised the organizations for demonstrating "the highest standards of performance in support of USSTRATCOM's diverse missions."

When submitting for this award, wings write packages listing all of the attainments across the various categories depicting how they complete the mission and go above and beyond.

"The big thing is probably it's looked at in its entirety. It's not any singular event,  and the Airmen really shined this year," Armagost said.

"It's a fantastic recognition for the Airmen and all of the folks, family and community because really I see it as a very broad level of sustainment of excellence -- not just for the mission but for how everything gets done," Armagost said. "It's a 365 kind of award. It's not a singular event and it's how we get after our assigned mission here."

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