Missile Competition

Curtain Raiser, 1967 - Strategic Air Command (SAC) conducted its first missile competition, Curtain Raiser, based on the long existing Bomb Competition, at Vandenberg AFB, California.  Objectives were to increase recognition of outstanding personnel and wings, promote professional exchange of information between members of SAC, refine procedures in operations and maintenance, and enhance esprit de corps in the SAC missile force.  Each of the six Minuteman and three Titan II wings selected two missile crews and a targeting team.  The 351st Strategic Missile Wing (SMW), Whiteman AFB, Missouri, won the first competition.

Olympic Arena, 1969-1993 - There was no competition in 1968 due to the demands of the Vietnam War.  The competition was renamed Olympic Arena for the 1969, with a competition held every year as a SAC event through 1992.  Not all competitions were titled Olympic Arena; some were just identified as the Missile Competition or Missile Combat Competition.  Size of the competing teams varied throughout SAC’s conduct of the event, from two to four missile crews, various numbers of maintenance, munitions, communications, civil engineering and security teams.  Trophies awarded for Best Missile Wing (Blanchard), Best Missile Minuteman and Best Titan Wings, Best Operations, Maintenance and team trophies.  Vandenberg AFB hosted the competition events except in some years when some specific events conducted at other bases due to facility limitations.  Length of the competition varied, but most were six days of competition events, with pre-comp familiarization and awards ceremony at end. The 1993 Competition was conducted by Air Command Command after SAC deactivated and missiles moved to that command.

Olympic Arena at Vandenberg- Scoreposting ceremonies (using the "Big Blue Board") were held each night after the day's events had completed.  Wings had mascots and unique cheers (like Little Rock’s famous "Soooeeee, root, root, root...." cheer).  Wing displays showcased each unit, and team members passed out pins and stickers.  Team uniforms started early, and by 1970 had included full dress 1880s US Army Cavalry uniforms, dressy western suits and one-piece jump suits.  Wings brought civilian guests and outstanding airmen.






Guardian Challenge, 1994-2008 - The competition was renamed the Space and Missile Competition in 1994 and was conducted by Air Force Space Command.    Guardian Challenge was held every two years beginning in 2002.  The competition remained at Vandenberg AFB until 2006, then some events and scoreposting were moved to Peterson AFB, Colorado.  The majority of the competition events moved to home units for 2006 and later.  Missile wings added helicopter teams and chefs.  Space wings competed in Space Operations, Space Lift and Satellite Operations.  The last Guardian Challenge involving missiles was in 2008.

Global Strike Challenge, 2010 and later - The competition was renamed and became the Bomb and Missile Competition, conducted by Air Force Global Strike Command.  Bomber and missile crews and teams compete at their home bases and gather at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, for scoreposting and trophy presentations.  Some years have included a symposium for participants and guests.  The competition was planned to be an annual event, but has not been conducted every year.  In 2015 there was only a trophy presentation at Barksdale during a Commanders Conference, with no teams gathering for scoreposting.  The competition was changed to every two years, and in 2019, only one member of each team/crew from each wing attended the scoreposting and banquet.  AAFM has hosted a Santa Maria Barbecue banquet at recent competitions for all participants.



Overall Winners of the Missile Competitions


Curtain Raiser Blanchard Trophy Winner

1967 - 351st Strategic Missile Wing (SMW), Whiteman AFB, MO

Olympic Arena Blanchard Trophy Winners

1969 - 321 SMW, Grand Forks AFB, ND                           1970 - 44 SMW, Ellsworth AFB, SD

1971 - 351 SMW, Whiteman                                                1972 - 381 SMW, McConnell AFB,                                                                                                                          KS

1973 - 90 SMW, FE Warren AFB, WY                                 1974 - 321 SMW, Grand Forks

1975 - 381 SMW, McConnell                                               1976 - 341 SMW, MalmstromAFB,                                                                                                                         MT

1977 - 351 SMW, Whiteman                                                1978 - 91 SMW, Minot AFB, ND

1979 - 390 SMW, Davis Monthan AFB, AZ                      1980 - 381 SMW, McConnell

1981 - 351 SMW, Whiteman                                                1982 - 44 SMW, Ellsworth

1983 - 381 SMW, McConnell                                                1984 - 90 SMW, FE Warren

1985 - 308 SMW, Little Rock AFB, AR                               1986 - 341 SMW, Malmstrom

1987 - 321 SMW, Grand Forks                                             1988 - 91 SMW, Minot

1989 - 351 SMW, Whiteman                                                 1990 - 341 SMW, Malmstrom

1991 - 341 SMW, Malmstrom

1992 - 44 MW, Ellsworth (Last SAC Competition)

1993 - 351 MW, Whiteman (Only Olympic Arena conducted by Air Combat Command)

Guardian Challenge Blanchard Trophy Winners

1994 - 742nd Missile Squadron (MS), Minot                 1995 - 10 MS, Malmstrom

1996 - 319 MS,  FE Warren                                                    1997 - 320 MS, FE Warren

1998 - 341 Space Wing (SW), Malmstrom                      1999 - 341 SW, Malmstrom

2000 - 91 SW, Minot                                                                2001 - 91 SW, Minot

(After 2002, Guardian Challenge was every other year)

2002 - 341 SW, Malmstrom                                                  2004 - 91 SW, Minot

2006 - 341 SW, Malmstrom                                                  2008 - 341 MW, Malmstrom

2010 - 90 MW, FE Warren

Global Strike Challenge Blanchard Trophy Winners

2011 - 341 MW, Malmstrom                                                 2012 - 91 MW, Minot

2013 -  Canceled                                                                      2014 - 91 MW, Minot

2015 - 341 MW, Malmstrom                                                 2017 - 341 MW, Malmstrom

2019 - 341 MW, Malmstrom





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