by Carla Pampe
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
5/13/2015 - BARKSDALE AFB, La. -- Air
Force Global Strike Command bomb wings participated in a major exercise
this month, demonstrating the command's flexibility and global reach
while testing its tactics, techniques, and procedures.
Airmen from Headquarters, Eighth Air Force and the 2d Bomb Wing at
Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force
Base, North Dakota, and 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base,
Missouri, honed their skills in planning and generating aircraft in
surge operations during the command's Constant Vigilance exercise May
An annual AFGSC exercise, Constant Vigilance is designed to train and
assess the command's ability to perform its conventional and nuclear
missions. Using notional scenarios, command and control elements and
operational units effectively demonstrated AFGSC's ability to perform
nuclear deterrence operations and long-range strike missions if and when
called upon to do so.
"The exercise offers AFGSC units the ability to hone their nuclear
deterrence skills," said Robert Thomson, AFGSC's Exercise Division
chief. "Only with continual, robust and realistic training can we ensure
our units are prepared and ready for this vital mission set."
Training and participation in exercises such as Constant Vigilance are
critical to Air Force Global Strike Command's ability to respond quickly
and effectively to real-world situations.
"It provides an opportunity to practice our number one priority mission
and gives our Airmen the opportunity to learn and build experience,
while allowing us to further hone our procedures as an integrated unit,"
said Col. David Benson, 509th Operations Group commander. "While
providing that invaluable experience for our Airmen, it instills
confidence that we can execute our primary mission."
Benson said the exercise provides a precious opportunity to train with operational command and control in the lead.
"Nuclear Operational C2 procedures are developed to be very secure for
obvious reasons. However, this forces detailed and more complicated
communication procedures than normal, conventional C2," he said. "It is
critical to practice these procedures during exercises like Constant
Vigilance so that critical nuclear C2 is ready and able when called
For members of Eighth Air Force's 608th Air Operations Center, 608th
Strategic Operations Squadron and Task Force 204, Constant Vigilance was
an opportunity to exercise their mission of quickly providing combatant
commanders with kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities to achieve
"Participating in CV helps our wings by improving our collective muscle
memory. It is comparable to knowing how to prepare (and ultimately
perform) a physical training evaluation and then actually preparing and
performing the evaluation," said Master Sgt. Joshua Craig, a cruise
missile manager with the 608th STOS and TF 204. "By participating in CV
the wings ensure our forces are ready to perform nuclear deterrence
operations and long-range strike missions if and when called upon to do