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Whiteman wins best Strategic Bomber award

131st Bomb Wing 509th Bomb Wing graphic

The Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing and U.S. Air Force 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base were recently announced as co-winners of the 2017 Omaha Trophy in the Strategic Bomber Category. (U.S. Air National Guard graphic by Senior Master Sgt. Mary-Dale Amison)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- The 509th and 131st Bomb Wings were announced as the best Strategic Bomber units and co-winners of the 2017 Omaha Trophy award, Feb. 26, 2018, by U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command.

The Omaha Trophy, which dates back to the United States Air Force’s Strategic Air Command, is presented in five official categories: Global operations, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, Strategic Aircraft Operations, and Submarine Ballistic Missile.

The 2017 Omaha recipient organizations are:
• Global Operations Trophy: 460th Space Wing, Buckley, Colorado.
• ICBM: 341st Missile Wing Trophy, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.
• Strategic Aircraft Trophy: Strategic Communications Wing One, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
• Ballistic Missile Submarine Trophy: USS Alabama (SSBN 731), Naval Submarine Base, Bangor, Washington.
• Strategic Bomber Trophy: 131st and 509th Bomb Wings, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

Both the 131st and 509th BWs earned the Strategic Bomber Trophy as a combined total force effort.

“The fact that Team Whiteman's 509th and 131st BWs have again been selected for the Omaha Trophy is an outstanding testament of the work our total force Airmen commit to day-in and day-out,” said Col. Kenneth Eaves, 131st BW commander. “Our success is truly one that the Air Force can emulate as a whole. The fact that we have active-duty Airmen and Guardsmen working side-by-side, accomplishing what they have, is a great story. It's one that I love to tell, and our Air Force leaders love hearing.”

Previously only one trophy was awarded to the command’s best wing, but has since evolved to five separate awards that represent USSTRATCOM's mission areas, their role in global operations and USSTRATCOM's continued emphasis on strategic deterrence. Selections are based on formal evaluations, meritorious achievement, safety and other factors such as community involvement and humanitarian actions.

“Our Airmen work incredibly hard to deter our enemies, assure our allies and keep our bombers flying; we are a world-class installation supported by the very best our country has to offer,” said Brig. Gen. John Nichols, 509th BW commander. “This is a very big deal. The Omaha Trophy recognizes our vital contributions to both national and global security through strategic deterrence, global strike and combat support.”