By Carla Pampe, Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

7/21/2011 – BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — Teams from across Air Force Global Strike Command, as well as the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command and Air Combat Command, recently began competing in the second-annual Global Strike Challenge.

Operations, maintenance and security forces teams from bomber and missile wings will compete to be named best-of-the-best. All units supporting the AFGSC mission have been invited to compete through November, showcasing their expertise, skill and capabilities.

“Global Strike Challenge reflects our emphasis on excellence,” said Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, Air Force Global Strike Command commander. “Additionally, this competition helps develop elite, highly-disciplined Airmen, builds esprit de corps and gives us an opportunity to recognize the ‘cream of the crop’ Airmen performing our mission.”

More than 450 Airmen will take part in Global Strike Challenge competitions at various locations throughout the country, culminating in a symposium and score posting event at Barksdale in November.

“We are really excited about this year’s competition,” said Lt. Col. Mike Petrosh, Global Strike Challenge command lead. “We learned a lot from our first competition last year, and we’re taking what we’ve learned to make this year’s event even better.”

One change from last year is an expanded focus for the Global Strike Challenge technology symposium, which brings experts from throughout the military and industry to share ideas and innovations. As the command looks to strike a balance between the nuclear and conventional missions in the Air Force, this year’s symposium will reflect that focus.

“The scope of this year’s symposium has been broadened to include the conventional mission,” Petrosh said. “The conventional mission is one that our bomber units perform on a regular basis, so we wanted to bring in speakers that could talk to that mission area.”

In addition to a broader focus, this year’s competition will include a new event-helicopter operations-with helicopter units from each missile wing participating.

“The helos play an important role in supporting the ICBM mission, so we wanted to be sure to include them in the competition,” Petrosh said.

The bomb competition, which kicked off in June, includes competitors from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, N.D., 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale, the 49th Test Squadron at Barksdale, the 340th Weapons School at Barksdale, the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas, the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., and the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo.

AFRC’s 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale and the Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Bomb Wing are also slated to participate in the bombing competition.

The missile competition, starting in August, will involve the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., the 91st Missile Wing at Minot and the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.

Security forces squadrons from participating wings, as well as the 377th Security Forces Squadron from Kirtland AFB, N.M., and the 219th Security Forces Squadron from the North Dakota Air National Guard will compete at Barksdale Nov. 5-7.

Official score-posting will be at Barksdale Nov. 8-9, in conjunction with the symposium at the Shreveport Convention Center.