Military News

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Warren Airmen rise to the Challenge!

by Airman 1st Class Malcolm Mayfield
90th Missile Wing Public Affairs


8/4/2015 - F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo.  -- Ninetieth Missile Wing Airmen gathered in the Trail's End ballroom, waiting for the announcement of who among them were selected to represent the wing at this year's Global Strike Challenge. The room went dark and the Airmen fell silent.

Suddenly, a shot rang out, followed by several more.

Capt. Joshua Haynes, replete in cowboy hat, bandana and black duster storms the room with two six-guns loaded with blanks, creating an orchestra of noises livening the crowd. It was time to get the show started.

This week marks the beginning of the fifth annual Global Strike Challenge and, the 90th Missile Wing held their announcement, July 31 to motivate the base and the Airmen competing.

Global Strike Challenge is the world's premier bomber, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and security forces competition.

Teams from the 90th Missile Wing and Warren vie for the title of the best of the best in AFGSC.

Airmen will compete through September, testing the capabilities of mission critical units along with essential supporting agencies. Units participating from Warren include the 90th Security Forces Group, 90th Maintenance Group, 90th Operations Group, 90th Mission Support Group and 36th Helicopter Squadron.

"I think it's an awesome competition," said 1st Lt. Daniel Uresti, 320th Missile Squadron. "This year I'll be competing, so I'm training every day until competition."

The single thing each competitor shares, despite facing different challenges, is their motivation to succeed.

"It really makes all of the different units work together and motivate each other," Uresti said. "You cheer each other on. It's not an individual competition or a specific unit's fight. We're all in this together."

Each team has a personal instructor assigned to assist them in their path to victory.

"I feel confident. Our base has phenomenal people competing and coaching," Staff Sgt. Katie Coble, 90th Maintenance Group quality assurance evaluator and past competitor. "I'm using my previous experience of doing the challenge as a team chief to help me be a better instructor."

Maj. Grant Fowler, 90th Maintenance Operations Squadron, is the wing lead for the GSC. He said, there are several objectives for the Global Strike Challenge. Through competition and teamwork, the event aims to foster esprit de corps, recognize outstanding AFGSC personnel and teams, and improve combat capabilities.

Like scopes aimed at a target, the competitors appear to be ready to tackle every challenge they meet head on. However, winning is not the purpose, but a milestone for the competitors.

"This is to motivate and increase the morale, to push us to work harder and shows us the fun side of our careers," Fowler said.

To help those Airmen make it to the finish line, it will take the effort of the entire base populous.

"For us to be a success, it'll take the dedication and motivation of everyone [on Warren,]" Coble said.

But all work and no play isn't what the facility maintenance section instructor is aiming for.

"I want them to have fun," Coble said. "At the end of the day it's a friendly competition."

Coble, along with a few of the other instructors for the teams, have experienced the full force of the GSC and are working to ensure the Airmen competing get the most out of the experience.

Col. Stephen Kravitsky, 90th Missile Wing commander, closes the event with his expectations of the competition.

"This isn't about the wing or competing with the other wings, the focus is on those Airmen competing," Kravitsky said. "At the end of the day, whether we bring home the trophy or not, have fun, enjoy your time and learn from this experience."

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