VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Space wings from Malmstrom AFB, Mont., Vandenberg and Schriever AFB, Colo., captured the top honors at Guardian Challenge, Air Force Space Command’s annual space warfighter competition held here May 6 – 9.

Throughout the week nearly 200 competitors vied for top spots in several space and missile disciplines, including missile combat operations, satellite operations, remote space tracking, security forces, helicopter operations, food services, spacelift and missile maintenance and communications, and missile codes.

Competing units included the 21st Space Wing from Peterson AFB, Colo.; the 30th Space Wing from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.; the 45th Space Wing from Patrick AFB, Fla.; the 50th Space Wing and 310th Space Group from Schriever AFB, Colo.; the 90th Space Wing from F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; the 91st Space Wing from Minot AFB, N.D.; the 341st Space Wing from Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; and the 460th Air Base Wing from Buckley AFB, Colo. Also, Royal Air Force members from RAF Fylingdales, United Kingdom, participated with the 21st Space Wing.

When final scores were announced, the 341st Space Wing at Malmstrom walked away with the prestigious Blanchard Trophy for best Air Force ICBM wing. The 30th Space Wing here captured the Schriever Trophy as outstanding space launch wing, while the 50th Space Wing from Schriever won the Aldridge Trophy for the best space operations wing.

Functional area winners included: space operations crew, 1st Space Operations Squadron, 50th SW, Schriever; spacelift operations crew, 30th SW; spacelift maintenance, 30th SW; space communications, 50th SW; missile operations crew, S-143, 90th SW; missile code controllers, 91st SW; missile communications, 90th SW; missile maintenance, 91st SW; security forces, 90th SW; helicopter aircraft generation/reconfiguration, 90th SW; and chefs, 21st SW.

“It’s important to compete. It hones our skills and brings us together as a family,” said Gen. Lance Lord, AFSPC commander, in his keynote address to the approximately 1,000 people at the closing ceremony May 9.

Guardian Challenge, the only space and missile competition in the Air Force, celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. It began in 1967 as the Strategic Air Command missile combat competition, Curtain Raiser. Thirty-four years, three name changes and many event additions later, the competition’s focus remains the same – to evaluate AFSPC’s readiness and demonstrate the command’s warfighting skills.

The weeklong competition seeks to improve readiness and combat capabilities through preparation, innovation and sharing; enhance esprit de corps; and strengthen teamwork across all mission areas in the command.