Military News

Friday, September 11, 2015

Maintenance teams lock down points as Global Strike Challenge continues

by John Turner
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs


9/9/2015 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Four of the 341st Missile Wing's five Global Strike Challenge 2015 intercontinental ballistic missile maintenance teams are in the spotlight this week as they enter the arena to wrench points away from similar teams at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.

ICBM Maintenance competition events here Sept. 8-11 will evaluate the 341st Maintenance Group's GSC Electromechanical Team, Facilities Maintenance Team, Missile Handling Team, and Missile Communications Teams' mastery over career-specific tasks. Each missile maintenance element can score up to 300 points for the wing, with points deducted for errors and incomplete tasks after the time allotted. Each wing is evaluated at its home location. Final scores will be revealed in October.

"The 341st MXG is very proud of all the competitors and trainers and we're confident they will bring home some hardware," said 1st Lt. Jennifer Wendland, 341st Maintenance Operations Squadron training flight commander.

The EMT is comprised of Senior Airman Cameron Thoms, team chief; Senior Airman Joshua Wood, team member; and Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Scearce, alternate team member. Tech. Sgt. Alexander Hutchings and Senior Airman Ryan Smith are the team's trainers. Day to day, EMT is part of the 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron's generation flight and is responsible for the command and control of the Minuteman ICBM weapon system.

On the FMT is Senior Airman Robert Gilsbach, team chief; Staff Sgt. Paul Parzynski, team member; and Airman 1st Class Erick Alvarez-Pagan, alternate team member. Tech. Sgt. Michael Marshall and Staff Sgt. Kyle Namen are the team's trainers. The work center is responsible for the power and environmental control systems that support the Minuteman weapon system and is part of the 341st MMXS facilities flight.

The MHT is comprised of Tech. Sgt. Gary Pamplin, team chief; Senior Airman Brett Besserman, team member; Senior Airman Michael Beverly, team member; Senior Airman Christopher Blessing, team member; and Senior Airman Shaquille Stephens, alternate team member. Staff Sgts. Matthew Truitt and Andrew Wellman are the team's trainers. MHT is responsible for all third-stage operations of Minuteman maintenance including the removal, installation, transport and transfer of the missile's 68,000-pound booster. The work center is part of the 341st MMXS generation flight.

The MCT is Senior Airman Taylor Knox, team chief; Senior Airman Tripp McCool, team member; and Senior Airman Chris St. John, alternate team member. Staff Sgt. Joshua Rutledge and Senior Airman Travis Grimit are the team's trainers. Their work center is responsible for the maintenance and sustainment of nuclear command, control and communication systems for the Minuteman system. Day to day, the work center is part of the 341st MMXS facilities flight.

The group's fifth GSC team, from the 341st Munitions Squadron, was evaluated Sept. 2-4. The MUNS team competes annually while EMT, FMT, MHT and MCT each compete every two years, alternating biennially with four other teams from the 341st Missile Maintenance and 341st Maintenance Operations Squadrons.

Malmstrom's five maintenance teams were formally announced at the wing's official GSC 2015 kick-off event at the Grizzly Bend Aug. 28. Members have been training intensively in the weeks leading up to competition events, drilling in the evenings and over weekends to perfect their timing, awareness and team cohesion.

"The MXG teams have put in 45 days and approximately 495 hours of training," said Wendland. "As a result, they have received a tremendous amount of support from their peers and leadership."

Global Strike Challenge is the world's premier bomber, intercontinental ballistic missile and security forces competition. Through competition and teamwork at various locations throughout the country, the event looks to foster esprit de corps, recognize outstanding AFGSC personnel and teams and improve combat capabilities. More than 450 Airmen from across AFGSC, as well as the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Air Combat Command will take part in Global Strike Challenge competitions at various locations throughout the country.

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