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Dyess AFB Airmen prove readiness in Global Thunder 20

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Tory Patterson
  • 7th Bomb Wing
A group of aircraft maintainers found little shelter from the rain and cold wind beneath the wing of a B1-B Lancer on the Dyess Air Force Base flightline, Oct. 24. They were preparing the aircraft for a mission two -hours out. While this could be any typical work shift for them, the day’s efforts were unique; they were playing a vital role in a global exercise.

These maintainers, and hundreds of other Airmen across Dyess AFB, just finished participation in the annual command and control exercise known as Global Thunder.

In the exercise, U.S. Strategic Command headquarters and staff, components and subordinate units all played a role in testing the readiness of America’s strategic deterrent forces. The exercise also involved allied personnel and other combatant commands.

Dyess AFB’s most visible contribution to the exercise were the consistent take-offs and landings of what has been called the “backbone” of America’s long-range, conventional bomber force – the B1-B Lancer.

Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth commands one of Dyess’ B-1B squadrons: the 9th Bomb Squadron. He explained that Global Thunder includes the full complement of joint and allied force capabilities across the entire spectrum of operations.

“There are air players and, there are naval assets who are playing,” Stallsworth said. “We are essentially rolling out the actions our military would conduct during an escalating conflict.”
Large-scale exercises like Global Thunder involve extensive coordination to provide unique training for assigned units and allies. At Dyess AFB, the exercise offered an opportunity to put readiness to the test.

“What we really want to tell the world is that we are ready at a moment’s notice,” said Stallsworth. “My Airmen wake up every morning and they roll out of bed and they are ready to tackle the challenges of the day. Whether that be a peer-to-peer type fight, or if we’re called at any other location across the globe, the B-1B force and my troops are ready.”

U.S. Strategic Command’s fundamental mission is to deter, detect and prevent strategic attack against the United States, its allies and partners. While this annual field training and battle staff exercise was based on a notional scenario, Global Thunder allowed forces to exercise and train as they would fight.