Macon Native Receives Top Honors in Air Force’s ICBM Community

November 12, 2023

1st Lieutenant Ben Nelson recently competed in Global Strike Challenge (GSC) which is the world's premier bomber, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, helicopter operations and security forces competition with units from Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Combat Command, Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard. In this competition, Nelson and his crew partner were placed in abnormal and difficult simulations to see how they would leverage their knowledge and training as Nuclear and Missile Operations Officers. Earlier this week, Global Strike Command hosted the 2023 GSC Score Posting at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. Nelson (among other competitors) attended the score posting where they met the Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, General Thomas A. Bussiere along with the Air Force’s senior most enlisted leader, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, JoAnne S. Bass.

Lt Nelson and his crew partner were awarded the Neary Trophy which is for the Best EWO Score amongst all three missile wings in the United States: Minot AFB, FE Warren AFB, and Malmstrom AFB. They were one of nine ICBM crews that competed. EWO stands for Emergency War Orders which encompasses the launching, terminating, or targeting of nuclear missiles.

Finally, Nelson and his crew partner contributed to the overall score for “Best ICBM Wing in the Nation.” This competition compiles the scores and performances from missile maintenance, security forces, helicopter operations, and ICBM operations which go toward the top award, The Blanchard Trophy. For the fifth competition in a row (held every two years), Nelson’s home base, Malmstrom AFB in Montana, won The Blanchard Trophy for Best ICBM Wing in the United States.

Lt Nelson and his crew partner represented their home squadron, the 12th Missile Squadron, in the competition. The Near Trophy has been won by the 12th Missile Squadron for two consecutive competitions and will now be featured for two more years in the squadron’s office back in Montana.

Headline picture is of Team Malmstrom receiving the Blanchard Trophy for Best ICBM Wing in the United States. Nelson is pictured on the left with the red hat. Lt Ben Nelson is the son of Mark and Lori Nelson of Macon, Missouri.

Global Strike Command is home to two of the three legs of our nation’s nuclear triad (ICBMs and Bombers). For more information on Global Strike Challenge, visit the following link: