Williamsport native involved in competition

Haggerty part of Air Force's Global Strike Challenge program

December 25, 2010|By AIR FORCE STAFF SGT. JESSICA SWITZER | Special to The Herald-Mail
  • Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Haggerty
Photo courtesy of Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sean Worrell

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — A Williamsport native is helping rewrite military history books as a competitor in a competition within the Air Force’s newest command shouldered with the responsibility for nuclear missiles and bombers throughout the nation.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Haggerty, a 1999 graduate of Williamsport High School, is a security forces member who converged on this traditional B-52 bomber base in northern Louisiana to compete in Global Strike Challenge 2010.  

It is the new Global Strike Command’s competition to determine the best missile, bomber and security forces teams within the command.

It began in April with a bomb loading competition at a bomber base in North Dakota and ended with the security forces competition at Barksdale.

“The competition has brought together the top representatives from each nuclear base to compete against each other,” said Haggerty, who is assigned to the 5th Security Forces Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D. “It’s a lot of fun and I look forward to continuing to compete in future years.”


All of the nearly 400 competitors, including Haggerty and his teammates, were highly trained in their specialties and tested extensively in their knowledge and abilities in their field.

In addition to active duty airmen, members of all of the Air Force’s National Guard and Reserve elements also participated in the competition.

“We trained with our weapons a lot,” Haggerty said. “We also did a lot of physical training every day that included strength training and running.”

This year’s competition is a combination of two older competitions, a bomb competition and a missile competition, that date back to the 1940s. From 1948 to 1992, Strategic Air Command held a bombing and navigation competition to test its best crews. In 1966, SAC held its first missile combat competition. Today, Global Strike Challenge combines both of these contests into a single competition.

Air Force Global Strike Command, activated in April 2009, puts the command and control of the Air Force’s nuclear assets under the control of a single organization.

Its creation began in 2008 when Air Force leaders took a critical look at its nuclear mission after discovering shortcomings in its procedures. They decided the service needed a single command focused on nuclear operations.

“Nothing is more important than our home station mission,” said Haggerty, who has been in the Air Force for 11 years. “But this competition brings us closer together and sharpens our skills.”

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