News>Global Strike Challenge: Meet the Security Forces Group team members
(From left) Airman 1st Class Michael Fenex, 341st Security Forces Squadron response force leader, Senior Airman Collin Kleckley, 341st SFS member, and Senior Airman Brainard Moore, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron member, lead Malmstrom’s security forces Global Strike Challenge team members as they lift a weighted pole at station five at the Warrior Launch Facility on Sept. 6. The team has spent the past month preparing for the GSC, scheduled for Sept. 24 to 28 at Camp Guernsey, Wyo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen)
Senior Airman Brainard Moore, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron member, left, and Senior Airman Collin Kleckley, 341st Security Forces Squadron member, work together to secure equipment to the ground as the rest of their team works on erecting a pole during a timed event as they prepare for the mental and physical competition of the Global Strike Challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen)
1st Lt. Michael Bruton, 341st Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force officer in charge, center, communicates to Senior Airman Collin Kleckley, 341st Security Forces Squadron member, left, and Senior Airman Anthony Trujillo, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron member, right, on how to move through an opening in the wire during a mental challenge at the Warrior Launch Facility. The Global Strike Challenge security forces team members were tasked with going through an opening in the fence without touching the wire or verbally communicating. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen)
Senior Airman Collin Kleckley, 341st Security Forces Squadron member, works with the rest of his team to push a Bearcat while 1st Lt. Michael Bruton, 341st Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force officer in charge, far right, performs security behind the vehicle. The Bearcat push was one of five stations the team had to complete during a mental and physical challenge at the Warrior Launch Facility in preparation for the Global Strike Challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen)
1st Lt. Andrew Stolten, 341st Security Forces Squadron free zone officer in charge and a team trainer, center, reads a mission brief to Malmstrom’s 341st Security Forces Group Global Strike Challenge team competitors during a mental and physical challenge at the Warrior Launch Facility on Sept. 6. Capt. Michael Cheatham, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron operation officer, far right, and Stolten designed the challenge to prepare the team and simulate the upcoming GSC. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen)
by Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
9/14/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Editor's Note: This is part three of a four-part series highlighting Malmstrom's 2012 Global Strike Challenge teams.
Eight members of the 341st Security Forces Group have spent the last month being pushed to their mental and physical limits as they prepare to represent Malmstrom Air Force Base in the security forces portion of the annual Global Strike Challenge on Sept. 24 to 28 at Camp Guernsey, Wyo.
Training the team for the second year in a row is Capt. Michael Cheatham, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron operation officer. Alongside him is former competitor 1st Lt. Andrew Stolten, 341st Security Forces Squadron free zone officer in charge.
"Although I will not be competing as I am just the trainer, I am very proud and excited to contribute to the team's success," Stolten said.
Airmen will compete in a shooting competition, tactical operations, and a mental and physical challenge. Although eight members have been training, Cheatham and Stolten will narrow down the team to six competitors.
"Six members will actually compete with one designated as an alternate," Cheatham said. "It's hard to say at this point who will or won't make the team."
"A successful team has to be very dynamic," Stolten said. "They have to be very aggressive, especially during the physical events. It's all about digging deep and pushing through the pain."
1st Lt. Michael Bruton 1st Lt. Michael Bruton, 341st SFG Tactical Response Force officer in charge, is no stranger when it comes to physical challenges. He competed in Malmstrom's first Aces Cop Combat Challenge, where he demonstrated leadership qualities necessary for the upcoming competition.
"Security Forces members are critical to maintaining the nation's strategic deterrence," Bruton said. "TRF trains unceasingly to hone and uphold our capabilities. We perform at a tempo and skill set that allows us to provide specialized options for our wing commander. In order to prepare for the competition, we have to set aside an entire month to prepare mentally and physically to take advantage of every chance to develop ourselves into a top notch team."
Tech. Sgt. Todd Vidic Tech. Sgt. Todd Vidic, 741st MSFS assistant flight chief and combat arms trainer, has more than a decade of military service and will be competing in the competition for a second time.
"It is an honor and privilege to represent Malmstrom," Vidic said. "It is a great responsibility for this team to give 100 percent during both training and during each event and that is what we will do. We've been training from 6 a.m. up until 8 p.m. on tactics, close quarter battle, weapons firing, mental sharpness, and physical strength and endurance."
Staff Sgt. Hubert Johns This year will mark veteran GSC competitor Staff Sgt Hubert Johns', 341st SFG TRF leader, third time competing in the challenge. If anyone knows how to properly train for the competition, it's Johns.
"This is my third time competing in the GSC," Johns said. "I am honored to be able to represent the wing and my squadron. Every morning we start our day with vigorous physical training, which usually consists of a five-mile run in uniform. Then we train on tactics throughout the day, and at the end of the day I go back to the gym to maintain my strength."
Senior Airman William Brown McLeansboro, Ill., native, Senior Airman William Brown, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron member, is honored and grateful to have the chance to make this year's team.
"Our job proficiency is greatly important to the Air Force's mission," Brown said. "We will represent Malmstrom by holding ourselves to a higher standard and acting in a professional manner. I'm so thankful to all of my leadership for giving us great support."
Senior Airman Collin Kleckley For Senior Airman Collin Kleckley, 341st SFS member, he is grateful to have the chance to compete as well as take back something from the challenge.
"We are training day-in and day-out going over and being trained on all the skills that our job entails," Kleckley said. "This is a 24/7 training process and we must always go over what we learn. We have to eat, sleep and breathe the GSC so we can win. I feel like competitions like this are important because it boosts morale and gets troops more motivated. It fills them with confidence and it shows what security forces members are made of. Most of all, it creates a great learning experience and teaches us skills that we can take back to our regular jobs and pass on to fellow Airmen."
Senior Airman Brainard Moore For Chesapeake, Va., native, Senior Airman Brainard Moore III, 341st MSFS member, he looks forward to the marksmanship portion of the challenge the most.
"I feel very fortunate to be selected and am proud to represent Malmstrom," Moore said. "This [Global Strike Challenge] is important because it brings bases together and proves that as one Air Force, we can work together."
Senior Airman Anthony Trujillo Senior Airman Anthony Trujillo, 741st MSFS member, looks forward to the competition itself and the chance to bring home hardware.
"I am looking forward to the experience this competition brings and the chance to bring home the [Blanchard] trophy," Trujillo said. "For 30 days, the team has been relieved of duty to train and prepare for all parts of the competition. I think competitions of this nature are important because it raises the standards for troops - mentally and physically - to make Airmen the best they can be."
Airman 1st Class Michael Fenex For Airman 1st Class Michael Fenex, 341st SFS response force leader, his fresh face is sure to bring a different perspective to the team.
"I am looking forward to the mental and physical part of the challenge the most," Fenex said. "Being selected as a part of the Global Strike Challenge team is an accomplishment on my part and an honor for me to represent Malmstrom to all of Global Strike Command."
Following the security forces portion of the challenge members from the 40th Helicopter Squadron will be competing at Guernsey on Oct. 3 to 6. Scores from the 341st Maintenance Group, 341st Operations Group and 341st SFG will combine for a final score posting at Barksdale AFB, La., in November to determine the next winner of the Blanchard Trophy. Although the defenders didn't bring back any hardware in last year's competition, they hope to surpass last year's commendable 2nd place finish and gain new experiences and lessons.
"This [GSC] demands the best-of-the-best and puts their skills to the test," Stolten said. "After the competition, these highly proficient defenders return to their sections and share their experiences and knowledge gained. The more defenders that compete and train, the better we are."