by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
5/22/2013 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- "You are, in fact, the masters of space."
These are the words Gen. Robert Kehler, commander of U.S. Strategic
Command, stated when he visited Schriever Air Force Base May 17 to
present the 2012 Omaha Trophy for Global Operations to the 50th Space
For the second time in three years, the wing has captured the trophy,
which is awarded annually to units that demonstrate the highest
performance standards in USSTRATCOM's global strategic mission.
Selections are based on formal evaluations, meritorious achievement,
safety and other factors such as community involvement and humanitarian
actions. Col. James Ross, 50 SW commander, received the trophy on behalf
of the wing.
"I want to congratulate you on a job spectacularly well done," Kehler
said. "The Omaha trophy is a big deal; it's a big deal in Strategic
Command and it's a big deal for the people of Omaha. They maintain a
connection with this award. They know who gets it. We sit down with our
consultation committee members, which is the sponsor of the Omaha
trophy. And every year, we review with them who gets the award and why."
Typically, the committee members find a very tough set of choices they have in order to get to a selection.
"Once we make the selection, it's obvious why we did it," Kehler said. "And for this case, it's obvious why we did it."
The general said many of the units assigned to USSTRATCOM are operating
in the shadows with the 50 SW as the epitome of "ultimate operation in
"It's difficult for the people who benefit the most from what you do,
which are the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and in particular,
those who are forward deployed, and in some cases, engaged with the
enemy, and in other cases, deployed elsewhere around the world, [to
appreciate what you do]," he said. "They are the ones who benefit the
most from what you do and yet the odds are, they don't know who is doing
it. This is our chance to say thanks to you, on their behalf."
During the presentation ceremony, Kehler also talked about the changes
in USSTRATCOM and how the wing is not only a part of a legacy of honor
and valor, but also a part of legacy of change.
"Not only will we recognize you here today for what you have done and
the outstanding way you've done it, but I think when we leave this
trophy with you today, we are recognizing your potential," he said. "You
are, in fact, the masters of space. We are going to rely on you to do
things differently as time passes. We are going to rely on your
expertise to keep providing for those forward users who can't fight the
American way of warfare without GPS, can't fight the American way of
warfare without satellite communications, can't fight the American way
of warfare without surveillance, without weather, without all of the
other things that are provided by you and people like you."
Additionally, Kehler stressed the award is about the whole team, which
includes civil engineers, security forces, medical services and more.
"All of the things that go in to making the skills across an entire wing
are being recognized here with the Omaha trophy," he said.
"Congratulations to you, you deserve it. You don't get enough praise for
the things that you do. You labor in silence and in the shadows."
Ross said the award, the Trophy for Global Operations, is what the wing
does with its mission "Command satellites to deliver decisive global
"What General Kehler said was exactly right," he said. "It was a team
effort; the entire team is responsible for this. This is your award.
Each and every one of you should be proud of how you contributed to the
outstanding manner in which we did our mission."
Ross said he is blessed to be part of this team and proud of each and every member.
"Hopefully, you are as proud of this unit as I am," Ross said. "Thank
you for what you do for the wing, for the Air Force and for this great