Posted: Sep 7, 2012 12:16 PM by Beth Beechie - MTN News
Updated: Sep 7, 2012 12:20 PM
GREAT FALLS- U.S. Air Force units around the country will be put to the test for their ICBM operations and security forces during the upcoming Global Strike Challenge.
The 341st Missile Wing will represent Malmstrom Air Force Base, and airmen are wasting no time preparing for the challenge. Their goal: bring the Blanchard Trophy to Montana.
This will mark Staff Sergeant Hubert Jones' third time participating in the challenge; he noted, "Throughout training, the only thing I do is eat, sleep and train."
Lieutenant Andrew Stolten, one of the trainers, says that as a former competitor it helps to think about his experience at the competition in Louisiana last year. During training he makes it a point to repeatedly test his crew mentally which in turn creates a solid bond in time for competition.
"Camaraderie is key. Trust is everything. When you're setting up security, you need to know that they have your back," SSgt Jones noted.
Malmstrom had dozens who showed up to test their mental and physical skills for the competition, but not everyone made the cut.
Captain Michael Cheatham explained, "This is an all-star team, each person was hand-picked. We had over 38 personnel try out, who were great athletes themselves. And these are the top eight."
Lt. Stolten added, "These competitions breed a culture of excellence. I think that's the number one priority of the competitions. And it develops better airmen. It develops a better warrior, and therefore we have better security."