Determined Spirits of Deterrence

B-2 bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing salvoed from Whiteman AFB, Mo., in a rapid-launch drill as part of US Strategic Command’s Global Thunder exercise. Most importantly a command and control exercise, the full-scale strategic deterrence drill tested the strategic bomber force’s ability to respond to an attack against the United States. Battle command staff, aircrew, maintainers, and support personnel put aircraft aloft, running response scenarios under simulated Presidential direction around the clock, during the Oct. 19-26 exercise. Global Thunder tested “all mission areas” within STRATCOM at the component, task-force, and unit level, to “deter and, if necessary, defeat, a military attack against the United States,” stated wing officials. (Whiteman report by SrA Laura Goodgame)