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Omaha Trophy presentation
Colonel Bradford J. Shwedo, 67th Network Warfare Wing commander (center) accepts the Omaha Trophy for Global Operations on behalf of the members of the 67th NWW July 12. Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, U.S. Strategic Command commander and Mr. Steven S. Martin, Strategic Command Consultation Committee member presented the trophy at the Kelly Club, Port San Antonio. The Omaha Trophy is awarded annually to four military units demonstrating the highest performance standards in U.S. Strategic Command mission areas, according to the command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ted Koniares)
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67th NWW honored with Omaha Trophy for Global Operations

Posted 7/12/2010   Updated 7/12/2010 Email story   Print story


by Master Sgt. Theresa Shannon
24th Air Force Public Affairs

7/12/2010 - LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- Amongst cheers from the men and women of the 67th Network Warfare Wing, Col. Bradford J. Shwedo, 67th NWW commander accepted the Omaha Trophy for Global Operations July 12 from Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, U.S. Strategic Command commander and Mr. Steven S. Martin, Strategic Command Consultation Committee member at the Kelly Club, Port San Antonio.

"Winning this trophy is a big deal and you are to be commended for it," said General Chilton. "A lot of folks think that this must be going to the operations part of the wing; nothing could be further from the truth. When a wing wins the Omaha Trophy, it means the entire wing is outstanding - every individual in the wing no matter what they do."

The Omaha trophy is awarded annually to four Department of Defense units in four categories, including global operations, intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine ballistic missile, and strategic aircraft operations categories. These categories have changed through the years to reflect the U.S. Strategic Command's missions and organizational structure changes.

"It is truly my honor to be here today and as a citizen, I believe it is all of our duty to serve those who serve, and I am honored to present this trophy today to the 67th Network Warfare wing," said Mr. Martin. "The Strategic Command Competition Committee recognizes the finest strategic units for their excellence, professionalism and dedication to mission; today we celebrate your accomplishments."

Selection for each of the four award categories is based on formal evaluations, meritorious achievement, safety, and other factors such as community involvement and humanitarian actions.

"You are on the cutting edge of a new frontier, a new domain, a domain that didn't exist when I started in the Air Force," said General Chilton. "They issued me a slide rule when I entered the Air Force; I remember my first computer was a calculator -$245 for an HP35. You can get one that does all the same functions for $10 today.

Mr. Martin also highlighted the importance of the 67th NWW's mission.

"In the news we hear about cyber attacks on governments and militaries throughout the world," Mr. Martin, who is also the President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, said. "As the nature of warfare evolves, protecting our networks has become a priority recognized by our national leaders. You demonstrated that you are critical to national defense, you are the premier cyber wing - regularly advising Air Force leaders on cyber capabilities and cyber threats, you have executed operations in support of 17 component and major commands, and you provided communications for commanders throughout the world. Furthermore, you have the attention of Secretary Gates and President Obama.

"You laid the foundation for future cyber operations and today you are recognized for your accomplishments and are truly deserving of the Omaha trophy," Mr. Martin said.

In 1998, the Omaha Trophy was expanded from two to three categories: the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Command Trophy, the Submarine Ballistic Missile Command trophy and the Strategic Aircraft Command Trophy. A fourth category was added in 2003: strategic space and information operations trophy. In 2008, the categories were reduced to three to mirror the command's three main lines of operations: space, cyberspace, and strategic deterrence.

In 2009, the Omaha Trophy was again expanded to four categories reflecting the command's primary lines of operations and continued emphasis on global deterrence and its evolving role in global Department of Defense operations.

"Times have really changed and this new domain, at which you are the experts, has become so important to us as military operators, important to our nation and the way we operate this nation, live in this nation and our economy; the work you do is at the very front end," General Chilton said.

"It's just like the invention of the airplane back at the beginning of the last century; you are at that level of entry into a whole new domain of operations, in this century. It is a critical time in our nation's history; it is a critical time in world history," the general said.

Addressing the distinguished guests, Colonel Shwedo said, "We are overwhelmed and honored by this. We know how busy your schedules are and we really appreciated you sharing this award with us. Your presence also shows that we as a wing can't do this by ourselves, we've worked with 24th Air Force, 688th Information Operations Wing, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, and we've come together to great things."

The colonel also echoed General Chilton's sentiments.

"One of my loves is history, and I constantly remind my team of the parallels of early air power history and the current situation. I'm very proud to be a part of their team because these Airmen are pioneers and the people you meet today are the ones your great grandchildren will be reading about when they study about the early cyber power," said Colonel Shwedo.

The Omaha Trophy debuted in 1971 when the Strategic Air Command Consultation Committee donated the trophy to the former major command on behalf of the citizens of Omaha, Neb. The committee requested the trophy be presented annually to the command's best wing as a token of recognition and appreciation from the citizens of Omaha.

After the deactivation of SAC and the creation of USSTRATCOM in June 1992, the committee authorized two awards - one for the best ICBM or fleet ballistic missile submarine unit and the other to the unified command's best strategic aviation unit. In 1998, the missile category was broken into two separate awards to recognize the significantly different challenges faced by the land-based and sea-based missile communities. In 2003, a fourth category was added: strategic space and information operations, which was used through 2006, then became the cyberspace category in 2007, and global operations in 2008.

The Omaha Trophy rotates between installations annually. Command officials present a miniature trophy or plaque and certificate to each winning unit once the presentation Omaha Trophy is returned at the beginning of the next competitive cycle.

The 2009 winners of the remaining three categories were:
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Trophy: 341st Space Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls, Mont.
Submarine Ballistic Missile Trophy: USS KENTUCKY (SSBN 737), Naval Submarine Base, Bangor, Wa.
Strategic Aircraft Operations Trophy: 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

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