For the third year in a row, the 341st Missile Wing of Malmstrom Air Force Base brought the Blanchard Trophy back to Great Falls.
The trophy is awarded to the winner of the Best Intercontinental Balllistic Missile Wing competition, just one of a number of competitions that take place at the Global Strike Challenge, which features several ICBM bases squaring off to test their skills and training.
“It’s a really cool thing,” said Technical Sergeant Chuck Benton, a Security Forces member at Malmstrom. “It’s definitely the biggest thing I’ve been a part of in my career so far, and to have the support of the leadership team, my teammates, our coaches, the Great Falls community in general, has been absolutely stellar.”
All of the events that take place at the Global Strike Challenge are designed to emulate real life situations that airmen could face on any given day. The purpose of the competition is to test the different bases on their training and preparedness.
“On the day of the actual event, they took us and they had already built the plan…I guess the script for what they were going to have us do,” explained Malmstrom Missile Combat Crew Commander Alex Larson. “It’s all job-focused, so they took us and they brought us in…they’re called MP2’s, took us in there, and then basically just let it go and whatever happened, happened, and we had to figure out ways to deal with it.”
On top of taking home the Blanchard trophy, Malmstrom also collected the Best Facility Maintenance Section Team, Best Missile Communications Team, Best Helicopter Security Response, Doolittle Trophy for Innovation Excellence, and the Spirit Bell, which is awarded to the team who best represents Global Strike Challenge teamwork and the notion of pride and morale through fellowship and loyalty.