US Air Force, October 31, 2014 - F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. - High in the sky, Airmen competed to see who in the nation's ICBM force is the best at helicopter operations.
Global Strike Challenge is a competition between many of Air Force Global Strike Command's organizations to see who is the best.
This year's GSC helicopter squadron competition took place Sept. 9-11 at Camp Guernsey, Wyoming, and the 37th Helicopter Squadron represented the Mighty Ninety.
"Everyone's competent and capable at their mission," said Capt. David Skelly, 37th HS aircraft commander. "It's just to see who stands out."
The competitors were graded on three overall tasks: Search and rescue, security response and tactics, he said.
In the search and rescue portion, the teams retrieved an individual who simulated a person who had fallen from a cliff. In the security response portion, the teams surveyed a simulated launch facility for threats and inserted tactical response force teams to secure the site. Finally, in the tactical scenario, the teams flew tactically at low-levels to a landing zone, picked up simulated TRF personnel and moved tactically to another LZ.
"Throughout the three, we were graded on our ability to hold the correct altitude, hold the correct airspeed, meet our time on targets, and efficiently and safely execute our helicopter mission," Skelly said.
The tasks they perform during the challenge are actions helicopter operators take every day or train for throughout the year, so performing their usual mission prepared them for the challenge, said Staff Sgt. Marke St. Hill, 37 HS special mission aviator.
Helicopter operations are standardized across the 20th Air Force, but there is room for helicopter operators to share ideas and exchange new ways of doing things, he said.
"There's always a good crossflow," Skelly said.
In November, GSC competitors will attend a scoreposting at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to find out who the winners are.
Everyone in the competition did very well, St. Hill said.
"It was that even," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if everyone tied. We're capable of completing any mission [AFGSC] gives us."
Skelly was not so modest.
"F.E. Warren's for sure going to win," he said. "We definitely did the best."
Capt. Michael Carter
Capt. David Skelly
Staff Sgt. Timothy Nissen
Staff Sgt. Marke St. Hill