Barksdale Trophy comes to Minot State

By Michael Linnell
University Communications Director

MINOT, N.D. – Members of the Minot Air Force Base (MAFB) proudly displayed the Barksdale Trophy at the Minot State University Board of Regents meeting on the MSU campus in early May.

The Barksdale Trophy is given to the community with the most outstanding community support to an Air Force Global Strike Command. It’s symbolism at the Board of Regents spring meeting is a testament to the partnership between the Minot Air Force Base, the city of Minot, and Minot State University.

“Minot State University is grateful for the long-standing partnership we have with the Minot Air Force Base,” said Minot State President Dr. Steven Shirley. “We have worked together for six decades, proudly educating thousands of airmen and their families during that time. The Minot Air Force Base and its personnel are a terrific part of the Minot community, and MSU looks forward to working together for the next 60 years.”

The Barksdale Trophy is awarded to the community which has provided the highest level of community support to an air force base in the Air Force Global Strike Command over the preceding 24 months, said Murray Viser, president and chief operating officer for Barksdale Forward, Inc., in a press release from the Air Force Global Strike Command. Barksdale Forward manages the award program on behalf of the communities of Shreveport, La., and Bossier City, La.

“The competition for the Barksdale Trophy is intended to create an air of friendly competition between host communities in order to encourage creativity and ever-increasing levels of community support for each base within Air Force Global Strike Command,” Viser said in the release.

The city of Abilene, Texas won the first trophy in 2017 with Minot earning the honor in 2019. The selection criteria used includes community-based programs positively impacting the quality of life, community investment in infrastructure, community assistance and support in securing state and federal funding for infrastructure or programs, and overall community hospitality, kindness, and acceptance of airmen, officers and their families.

Col. Brian Vlaun, Vice Commander for the 5th Bomb Wing from the Minot Air Force Base, delivered the keynote presentation at this spring’s MSU Board of Regents meeting. He, along with Chief Master Sergeant Timothy Wieser, 5th Bomb Wing Command Chief, stressed the importance of the mission within the Air Force Global Strike Command in general and specifically the work done at the MAFB.

The duo also stressed the importance of the relationship between MSU and MAFB.

Active-duty airmen and their dependents take classes at MSU in a variety of flexible delivery options.  MSU offers traditional classes on its Minot campus, between 10-15 classes on base per term, Squadron Classes — where courses fit each squadron’s schedule per request — and Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) and AU-ABC Programs. Minot State also has a Military Resource Center on campus where members of the military and veterans have access to study space and assistance accessing programs available to active duty, dependents, and retired military members.

“The Barksdale Trophy recognizes its recipients for their many support efforts. One of those being the community and surrounding area’s history of successfully providing educational opportunities to members of the U.S. Air Force and their families,” said Andy Heitkamp, Minot State Military Resource Center director. “MSU’s Center for Extended Learning and base office, director Brigitte Mikula, and campus Military Resource Center, contribute to the University’s collaborative efforts to enhance the education of our nation’s airmen, especially those stationed at the Minot Air Force Base.

“Those efforts have positioned Minot State University, in each of the past five fiscal years (2014-2019), among the top 25 providers in the nation for educational classwork reported by the U.S. Air Force.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/26/21   

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