The US Air Force Global Strike Command’s (AFGSC) bomb wings have participated in the annual AFGSC exercise, Constant Vigilance, displaying its tactics, techniques and procedures.
The exercise involved airmen from AFGSC headquarters; the Eighth Air Force and the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota; and 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Missouri.
Constant Vigilance is aimed to train and assess the command’s capabilities to perform its conventional and nuclear missions.
AFGSC Exercise Division chief Robert Thomson said: "The exercise offers AFGSC units the ability to hone their nuclear deterrence skills.
"Only with continual, robust and realistic training can we ensure our units are prepared and ready for this vital mission set."
During the exercise, command and control elements and operational units demonstrated AFGSC’s ability to perform nuclear deterrence operations and long-range strike missions.
According to 509th Operations Group commander colonel David Benson, this training programme offers airmen the opportunity to learn and build experience and also provides an opportunity to train with operational command and control in the lead.
Benson said: "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.
"It is critical to practise these procedures during exercises like Constant Vigilance so that critical nuclear C2 is ready and able when called upon."
In April this year, airmen from the USAF’s 366th Fighter Wing and the 266th Range Squadron conducted a joint training exercise with sailors, marines and the army national guardsmen at Saylor Creek Range, Idaho, US.
Image: A B-52H Stratofortress sits on the flightline at Minot Air Force Base after being loaded with air-launched cruise missiles during a Constant Vigilance aircraft generation exercise. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Senior Airman Kristoffer Kaubisch.