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SMC Wings Rise to Guardian Challenge

The 61st Security Forces Squadron Team

The 61st Security Forces Squadron Team

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- For the first time, all seven wings from the Space and Missile Systems Center will send teams to compete in Air Force Space Command's biannual Guardian Challenge this year.

Game Day for the acquisition teams is scheduled for April 28 here, while security forces team will compete May 16 to 19 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Closing events will be held May 20 and 21.

"The goals of Guardian Challenge 2010 are to identify areas for standardization to enhance readiness and efficiency," said Capt. Eric Ball, SMC's Guardian Challenge Project Officer. "It'll help us improve our readiness and combat capabilities, enhance esprit de corps and strengthen teamwork across all the wings at SMC, as well as show our mission readiness."

Competing teams this year from SMC include the 61st Air Base Wing, Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing, Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space-Based Infrared Systems Wing, Launch and Range Systems Wing, Space Superiority Systems Wing and Space Development and Test Wing.

The acquisition teams will compete locally. They will be given a scenario on Game Day to develop and brief an acquisition strategy to accomplish the scenario objectives. Each team will have approximately three hours to complete the task and out-brief to SMC evaluators.

"It is recommended each team is comprised of four or five members, including a coach, a program manager, an engineer, a contracting and a finance officer," said Captain Ball. "Team members must be lieutenant colonels or GS-14 or below."

The 61st ABW team will include five primary and alternate members from the 61st Security Forces Squadron and Department of Defense police. Its competition will focus on physical fitness, firing, obstacle courses and land navigation, said Lt. Alea Nadeem, 61st ABW team leader.

"Each team participating in the challenge will have 30 days to train prior to competition," said Lieutenant Nadeem. "Our team will begin training April 5 at March Air Reserve Base."

"We have this rare peacetime opportunity to show SMC is able and willing to overcome any challenge to accomplish our mission to fight and win in space," said Captain Ball. "And we will do it not as a singular wing or center, but as a team within the larger Air Force team."

However, "SMC's identity is without a doubt distinct in the space community, as embodied by our mascot, the Eagle," said Captain Ball. "To that end, we need a lot of support not only from our leadership but also from our base personnel to help the SMC team stand out."

To encourage support, "we will hold several events to rally SMC, raising awareness and excitement around here," said Captain Ball. "We plan to raise funds to provide the SMC team with the required team uniform and banner to represent the Center at Peterson AFB in May."

"Furthermore, senior leaders (colonels or civilian equivalents and above) in the acquisition career fields are needed to serve as local panel judges," said Captain Ball.

Interested volunteers may contact their respective wing's Guardian Challenge team leader for more information.