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Fairchild wins coveted Omaha Trophy for excellence

Chief Master Sgt. Chris Pugh places the Omaha Trophy, an annual award for unit excellence given to the top Strategic Air Command unit, back on its stand after the presentation ceremony Monday at Fairchild Air Force Base. The trophy was accepted by Col. Charles B. McDaniel, second from left, commander of the Air Force’s 92nd Air Refueling Wing, based at Fairchild. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Chief Master Sgt. Chris Pugh places the Omaha Trophy, an annual award for unit excellence given to the top Strategic Air Command unit, back on its stand after the presentation ceremony Monday at Fairchild Air Force Base. The trophy was accepted by Col. Charles B. McDaniel, second from left, commander of the Air Force’s 92nd Air Refueling Wing, based at Fairchild. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Fairchild Air Force Base and the 92nd Refueling Wing were recognized on Monday with the prestigious Omaha Trophy signifying excellence in serving their strategic mission.

The award is given annually to the top performance in strategic aircraft operations; Fairchild received it twice before, in 1999 and 2002.

The large silver cup was originally created in 1971 by the Strategic Command Consultation Committee, which is based in Omaha, Nebraska.

At the time, a single trophy was presented annually in appreciation of the command’s best wing, but it has been expanded to recognize five different operations within the U.S. Strategic Command.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, deputy commander of the strategic command, appeared in the air base hangar and told an assembled crowd of several hundred that the award recognized their ability to work as “Team Fairchild.”

“Everything you do, you make it look easy,” Wilson told the crowd.

Col. Charles B. McDaniel, commander of the 92nd Refueling Wing, said the trophy belonged to everyone at Fairchild.

Fairchild competed against other units under the strategic command, including refueling, reconnaissance and airborne communications.

The U.S. Strategic Command conducts global operations in coordination with other commands, services and U.S. government agencies to deter and detect strategic attacks against the U.S., its allies and other partners.

Refueling tankers are seen as an integral part of maintaining the strategic deterrent capability.

In the nine years ending in February 2014, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing flew 20,000 sorties and offloaded 1.5 billion pounds of fuel to more than 110,000 U.S. and coalition aircraft from the transit center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan.

Other winners for 2015 were the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base at Great Falls; the USS Wyoming at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia; 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; and 460th Space Wing, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.

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