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5th BW wins Omaha Trophy

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- For the second year in a row, a Minot Air Force Base wing won the U.S. Strategic Command Omaha Trophy.

This time around, the 5th Bomb Wing was awarded the 2005 Strategic Aircraft Operations Trophy.

"It is a tremendous honor for the Warbirds to win this very prestigious award and to win it twice in a row is phenomenal", said Col. Tom Gilbert, 5th Operations Group commander. "Only the best come North are not just words on the Minot front gate."

Four Omaha Trophies are presented annually to assigned units demonstrating the highest standards of performance. Selections for the award is based on formal evaluations, meritorious achievement, safety and other factors such as community involvement and humanitarian actions.

2005 was a stellar year for the 5th BW. The 5th BW flew a perfect 246 out of 246 tasked Operation Enduring Freedom combat sorties totaling more than 4,000 combat hours.
The 5th Maintenance Group became the most capable bomber unit in the Air Force, far exceeding Air Combat Command standards. When called upon the 5th BW deployed Airmen to Joint Task Force Katrina to aid in the relief efforts.

Also the 5th BW is the only Department of Defense wing supporting two components of nuclear forces.

"This award isn't given to the best B-52 wing, not the best bomber wing, but the best aircraft wing in STRATCOM," said Capt. Sean Gallagher, 5th BW chief of flight safety and coordinator for submitting the Omaha Trophy package to STRATCOM. "We competed against bomber wings, reconnaissance wings, tanker wings, and others and to be singled out for our excellence is a great honor. The 5th BW has brought credit to Minot and to all bomber and B-52 units. All Warbirds are a part of this."

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.

The Omaha Trophy consists of four categories, intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine ballistic missile, strategic aircraft operations and strategic space and information operations.

The other 2005 awards were awarded to the following:

Ballistic Missile Trophy: 90th Space Wing, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. for

Submarine Ballistic Missile Trophy: USS Alaska, Naval Base Kitsap, Wash.

Strategic Space and Information Operations Trophy: Joint Space Operations Center, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The 91st Space Wing won the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Trophy for 2004.
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