Military News

Sunday, November 15, 2015

AFGSC participates in Global Thunder

by Joe Thomas
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

11/13/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La.  -- Air Force Global Strike Command participated in Global Thunder, an annual field training and battle staff exercise that started Nov. 2, 2015.

This U.S. Strategic Command annual command and control exercise provides training opportunities for AFGSC and its components to measure the major command's ability to support combatant commands around the globe. AFGSC is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the nation's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and bomber forces.

"Global Thunder gives us an ability to exercise our role as our nation's premiere deterrent force," said Gen. Robin Rand, AFGSC commander. "The effort involved coordination with both bomber and ICBM capabilities from six AFGSC wings. We execute our mission 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are ready if called upon."

Airmen from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; Minot AFB, North Dakota; Whiteman AFB, Missouri; F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; and Malmstrom AFB, Montana, trained in responding to simulated strategic threats against the United States and its allies. Each exercise scenario tested the command's ability to respond to a wide array of situations allowing the men and women of AFGSC to train to improve their overall strategic and operational experience.

"Our Airmen had the opportunity to hone their skills as they support our nuclear deterrence and global strike missions for situations we don't normally experience," said Col. Eric Moore, an AFGSC crisis action team director. "In order to maintain a safe, secure, effective and credible nuclear capability, it is necessary to provide training and to measure the readiness of our forces and the effectiveness of our procedures under simulated crisis conditions."

Capt. Nicholas Tensing, chief, Command and Control Branch, was in charge of the command center during the exercise. Tensing said that the goal was to prepare the command for future real-world scenarios.

"We attempted to make all scenarios as realistic as possible," Tensing said. "In the weeks leading up to the event, we spoke to functional area representatives in various parts of the command to see what would actually happen in the case of real-world events. We wanted to ensure that the AFGSC [Crisis Action Team] could properly support our units in these scenarios, so we tailored our responses accordingly. "

According to Tensing, readiness doesn't happen once a year. "We are always prepared for exercise or real world events," he added. "We're always planning and training in order to accomplish our mission at any time."

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