GREAT FALLS — The 341st Missile Wing of Malmstrom Air Force competed in the Global Strike Challenge 2021 this week, and won the Blanchard Trophy for being the best intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) installation for the fourth year in a row.
The 341st Missile Wing operates and maintains 150 Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. The missiles are located in silos across north and central Montana.
Global Strike Challenge 21 consisted of about 450 competitors from nine installations ("wings"). A news release from Malmstrom explains that it is the world’s premier bomber, ICBM, helicopter operations, and security forces competition, with units representing the Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command, Air Force Reserve Command, and the Air National Guard.
Along with the Blanchard trophy, Malmstrom brought home the following awards:
- Linhard Trophy – 12th Missile Squadron (MS)
- McMahon Trophy - 490th MS
- Neary Trophy - 12th MS
- Bourland Trophy - 40th Helicopter Squadron
- Charlie Fire Team Trophy - 341st Security Forces Group
Team and Individual Trophies:
- Best ICBM Missile Maintenance Team
- Best ICBM Missile Communications Team
- Best Security Forces Mental and Physical (MAP) Challenge
- Best M18 Shooter - Airman First Class Lee Laudolff.
- Best Convoy & Aerial Interdiction
- Best Launch Facility Recapture and Threat Detection
Colonel Anita Feugate Opperman, the commander of the 341st Missile Wing, said in a news release on Thursday: “The Global Strike Challenge is a great opportunity to show off our capabilities and build camaraderie with our global strike counterparts. We continue to make history by taking home the Blanchard trophy once again and that is because of our Airmen who made it possible.”
The theme of this year’s Global Strike Challenge was Strikers are One… Resilient, Credible, and Lethal Team.
General Anthony Cotton, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said in a news release: “Because Strikers are a team of teams, we’re all dependent on one another to succeed. This teamwork is critically important because, as we all know, the world has changed—we are now in an era of strategic competition.”