The 40th Helicopter Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base was presented with the Omaha Trophy on Wednesday.
U.S. Air Force General Anthony Cotton, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, alongside Terry Kroeger, Strategic Command Consultation Committee member, presented the squadron with the trophy.
The Omaha Trophy was first presented in 1971 by the citizens of Omaha, Nebraska, to honor the best unit in Strategic Air Command. The trophy is awarded annually to the military units that demonstrate the highest performance standards based on US Strategic Command’s four mission areas.
The mission areas are as follows:
- Global Operations
- Strategic Bomber Operations
- Submarine Ballistic Missile Operations
- Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Operations
One of the many things the 40th Helicopter Squadron was recognized for is its ability to guarantee the security of our nation and our allies.
Captain Jacques Soto, Airman First Class Keera Nickodem, and Technical Sergeant Jacob Seibel were recognized as vital components of the unit.
One of the factors that led the squadron to be awarded the Omaha Trophy is the "24/7 Operational Alert."
Captain Soto said, "The alert really sets us apart. It's 24/7 operational. That's the first armed helicopter alert stood up. And this also kind of coincides with us bringing on the MH-139 helicopter. We were selected to do so and so they kind of coincide and they are kind of breaking ground."
A1C Nickodem said, "It's been a pretty big deal to everybody. Lots of struggles, lots of growing pains, but we're working through it, and I think we're all pretty proud to have made it to this point of being recognized for all of those things and all the sacrifices we've made it made to make the alert possible."
TSgt Seibel said, "I’m extremely proud of my airmen and the unit as a whole for winning the trophy. It brings a good light to the squadron and our base here."