OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – Exercise Global Thunder 17, an annual command post and field training exercise, concluded Oct. 31.
U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), in coordination with U.S. and partner nation government agencies, conducted the exercise, which began Oct. 24, to train USSTRATCOM forces and assess joint operational readiness across all of the command’s Unified Command Plan-assigned mission areas.
“Testing our strategic forces through a range of challenging scenarios validates their safety, security, effectiveness and readiness,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander. “While the exercise is based on a notional, classified scenario, it realistically allows my forces to exercise and train as they would fight.”
Planning and coordination for Global Thunder 17 started more than a year ago. The scenarios and operations provided training opportunities for assigned units and forces.
“The scenario afforded USSTRATCOM’s headquarters staff, component commands and partners opportunities to validate existing operational plans and procedures while developing and testing innovative approaches for addressing complex and uncertain global security challenges,” said Maj. Gen. Heidi V. Brown, USSTRATCOM director of global operations. “Global Thunder 17 also provided us a chance to increase our interoperability between each of the combatant commands involved as well as our interagency partners and allies.”
Global Thunder 17 afforded USSTRATCOM the opportunity to host U.K. and Canadian officers.
U.K. Royal Air Force Air Vice Martial Edward Stringer, U.K. Ministry of Defence operations director, said his participation wouldn’t have been possible without the liaison officers permanently assigned to USSTRATCOM headquarters.
“I’ve always known that we get a huge amount out of having them here, but I’m very pleased with the number of senior officers here at U.S. Strategic Command who said how useful it is to have some of our best here doing good things,” said Stringer.
Liaison officers from Australia, Canada, Denmark and the U.K. are assigned to USSTRATCOM.
In addition to allies, partners and liaison officers, USSTRATCOM’s sub-unified command, joint functional component commands, task forces and service components also participated in the exercise.
“U.S. Strategic Command forces are on watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing the credible deterrent capable of convincing potential adversaries that they cannot escalate their way out of a failed conflict, restraint is a better option,” said Haney.
One of nine DoD unified combatant commands, USSTRATCOM has global strategic missions assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence; space operations; cyberspace operations; joint electronic warfare; global strike; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; combating weapons of mass destruction; and analysis and targeting.
For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-294-4130 or USSTRATCOMPA@mail.mil or visit www.stratcom.mil.