509th BW receives Omaha Trophy

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jason Barebo
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 509th Bomb Wing was presented with the U.S. Strategic Command Omaha Trophy, Feb. 22.

Gen. Kevin Chilton, U.S. Strategic Command commander, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., presented the award to Brig. Gen. Gary Harencak, 509th Bomb Wing commander, during a ceremony at the Mission's End here. The 509th was awarded the Omaha Trophy for having the best strategic aircraft operations in 2006.

"You are the best at what you do," General Chilton said. "You play not only a crucial role in conventional missions, but also as part of the U.S.'s strategic nuclear deterrents.

"That conventional capability you have is unmatched by anyone on the planet," he said.

Jim Krieger, Gallup Poll organization vice president, was also on hand to present the trophy.

"To the community of Omaha this is a big deal," Mr. Krieger said. "To be recognized as the operational best in the world takes a lot."

"It was awesome having the USSTRATCOM commander, General Chilton, present the wing the Omaha Trophy.," Lt. Col. Bill Eldridge, 13th Bomb Squadron commander said. 

" 509'ers work very hard keeping the wing combat ready. The trophy is a great reward for all our efforts."

Some of the wing's highlights in 2006 include leading the largest joint exercise U.S. Pacific Command has seen in more than 30 years and deploying a large percentage of the wing's Airmen in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Ninety-five percent of all inspected areas received outstanding or excellent scores and seventy-three Wing personnel received superior performer awards.

The Omaha Trophy is expanded into four categories and each is presented annually to units demonstrating the highest standards of performance. Selection is based on formal evaluations, meritorious achievement, safety and other factors such as community involvement and humanitarian actions.

The Omaha Trophy was presented to the Strategic Air Command in 1971 on behalf of the citizens of Omaha, Neb., by the SAC Consultation Committee, with the request that it be awarded annually to the outstanding SAC wing.