By Jennifer Thibault
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Gen. C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Strategic Command commander, presented the 50th Space Wing with the Omaha Trophy for Global Operations in a ceremony here Thursday.
This is the first time the 50th Space Wing or any 14th Air Force unit has ever earned this honor, which is awarded annually to military units demonstrating the highest performance standards in USSTRATCOM’s mission areas. Selections are based on formal evaluations, meritorious achievement, safety and other factors such as community involvement and humanitarian actions. The ‘Masters of Space’ are joined this year by the following other 2010 Omaha Trophy award winners: the 91st Missile Wing, Minot Air Force Base, Minot, N.D.; USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740), Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, Ga.; and the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, Minot, N.D.
“There is not a more deserving organization for this award than the 50th Space Wing,” said General Kehler during the ceremony. “I’ve seen it firsthand. There’s not a single operation that goes on anywhere that doesn’t involve USSTRATCOM and that’s mostly because of the operations conducted by the 50th Space Wing.”
The general elaborated on the many missions of the wing to include navigation, satellite communications and space-based weather and how these capabilities have a direct role in global operations.
“That is why this trophy is rightfully being awarded to all of you,” the general added. “At least for a couple minutes, marvel at this remarkable achievement.”
General Kehler was accompanied by John Whisler, Jr., a member of Omaha’s Strategic Command Consultation Committee who created the Omaha Trophy with the intent that it be presented on an annual basis to the command’s best wing.
“The trophy is in recognition of the excellence that is demonstrated by the command’s finest units,” said Mr. Whisler, who referred to the Tiffany of New York casted trophy’s competition as the Super Bowl of military operations. “The tradition recognizes [your] commitment and dedication to freedom. You best represent what we hold so dear — freedom.”
Mr. Whisler has a tie to Schriever all his own. As an architect, he was personally involved in the engineering and design of the restricted area here when the installation was still called Falcon Air Force Station.
“I haven’t been back here since 1992,” said Mr. Whisler. “What a fine installation this has turned into in such a short time.”
Col. Wayne Monteith wrapped up the ceremony by thanking the wing for their efforts.
“Thank you to the more than 6,000 men and women of the wing; Guard, Reserve, Active Duty, DoD civilians and contractors,” the colonel said. “It takes every single one of you to bring something like this about. You make a difference every single day on a national and global level.”
The categories for the Omaha Trophy reflect the command’s primary lines of operation, continued emphasis on strategic deterrence and their evolving role in global operations. The former Strategic Air Command Consultation Committee first presented the Omaha Trophy as a single trophy to the Strategic Air Command in 1971 on behalf of the citizens of Omaha. The number of awards increased through the years as the USSTRATCOM missions and organizational structure changed.
To see video of the event go to the 50th Space Wing Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/50spacewing.