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Warren Wranglers bring Blanchard Trophy home to Mighty Ninety

F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, WYO. -- Members of the Mighty Ninety lined the Pronghorn Center sidewalks here Nov. 18 forming a celebratory gauntlet of people to welcome their triumphant Global Strike Challenge team home.

This was the first time Air Force Global Strike Command, which is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., hosted this historic competition since standing up last year.

Not only did the Warren Wranglers compete against the other ICBM wings, they did so better than any other team and brought home the coveted Blanchard Trophy. This is the first time the Mighty Ninety has won this trophy since 1997.

The Blanchard Trophy has been awarded since 1967 to the best missile wing competing. The trophy gets its name from Gen. William H. Blanchard, who served as Strategic Air Command's director of operations in the early '60s during the command's operational development of the nation's ICBM force.

"Being selected as the best ICBM wing is an honor and a privilege and shows everyone else what I already know," said Col. Greg Tims, 90th Missile Wing commander. "We have the best Airmen here providing preeminent combat capability across the spectrum of conflict. Well done Mighty Ninety!"

The security forces team performed not only against the Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., teams, they had to compete against seven other wings, Colonel Tims added. The SF team competed very admirably, and with them staying in the top three throughout their portion of the competition, they helped the wing secure the Blanchard.

"This trophy belongs to every single one of us in the Mighty Ninety," said Chief Master Sgt. Marty Anderson, 90th MW command chief. "Our competitors showed the constant standard of excellence and performance we do every day needed to bring home not only the Blanchard but all the other accolades we won as well."

The Blanchard was only one of four accolades the Warren Wranglers brought back from this competition.

Also brought home, was the Blackburn Trophy awarded for the best missile maintenance team. The trophy was named in honor of Col. Charles Blackburn, former deputy commander of the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, Col. Blackburn is an ICBM maintenance pioneer who helped refine maintenance practices for the Atlas, Titan, Minuteman and Peacekeeper weapon systems.

"It's great to have this trophy back home," said Colonel (ret) Blackburn after presenting the maintenance team with the trophy during the welcome home celebration here.

The Best ICBM Operations Trophy was also awarded to the Warren Wranglers. This unnamed legacy trophy is awarded for the best missile operations.

Senior Airman John Thompson and Staff Sgt. Ian Johnston, both from the 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron, brought home the Best Electro-Mechanical Team Trophy. The EMT Trophy was awarded to them for their hard work and performance during the maintenance group's portion of the competition.

Colonel Tims coined all the competitors, trainers, alternates and commanders associated with the team during the welcome home celebration for their hard work and dedication in bringing these accolades home to the Mighty Ninety.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, people were invited to stay, eat and congratulate Warren's team for a job well done.