The Missile Competition
AAFM has participated in every missile competition since 1993. The Executive Director and AAFM board members attend events, and we provided a commemorative coin to each participant for several years. In 2017, AAFM sponsored a Santa Maria BBQ for 800 participants to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the missile competition.
The Newsletter has many articles on the competition, including results of each since 1993, as well as several histories of the Missile competition. View the Newsletter Index (PDF) to see a list of articles. Mementos from some past competitions are available in our AAFM store.
Curtain Raiser and Olympic Arena
The competition began as the SAC Missile Combat Competition, Curtain Raiser, in 1967, and continued as Olympic Arena from 1969 to 1993. It was conducted annually at Vandenberg AFB CA.
The official name changed slightly on occasion, as did number of participants from the missile wings. There were teams and crews from Operations, Maintenance, Munitions, Communications, Civil Engineers and Security. They underwent intense exercise scenarios during several days at Vandenberg. Scores were posted each night and the winners announced on the final night at the end of the competitive exercises.
Renamed Guardian Challenge, it became the Space and Missile Competition in 1994. The competition was conducted every two years after 2002. Missile wings added helicopter teams and chefs to the competition. The Space wings competed in Space Operations, Space Lift and Satellite Operations. Most competitive exercises were at Vandenberg AFB, although some Space exercises were at other locations.
In 2006, the competition moved to Peterson AFB CO. Missile and space wing teams competed on their home turf, with the 20 AF and 14 AF evaluators going to each base for the competition exercises. Events at Peterson included the contractor expo, score posting and the awards banquet.
The last Guardian Challenge involving missiles was in 2008.
Global Strike Challenge
In 2010, the competition became the Global Strike Challenge for bombers and missiles, and was conducted by Air Force Global Strike Command.
Bomber and missile crews and teams compete at their home bases and gather at Barksdale AFB LA, for score postings and trophy presentations. The event has a symposium for participants and guests. Although the Challenge was planned to be an annual event, it has not been conducted every year.