307th Bomb Wing takes part in Global Thunder 2018

A B-52 Stratofortress is parked on the flight line during Exercise Global Thunder 18 at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 4, 2017.

A B-52 Stratofortress is parked on the flight line during Exercise Global Thunder 18 at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 4, 2017. Global Thunder is an annual U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) exercise designed to provide training opportunities to test and validate command, control and operational procedures. The training is based on a notional scenario developed to drive execution of USSTRATCOM and component forces’ ability to support the geographic combatant commands, deter adversaries and, if necessary, employ forces as directed by the President of the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Theodore Daigle)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

Exercise Global Thunder 2018, an annual command and control and field training exercise took place Oct. 30 through Nov. 7. The Global Thunder series is designed to exercise all U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) mission areas and assess joint operational readiness.

“These exercises achieve the vision of a unified team, integrating all the capabilities of U.S. Strategic Command across the globe wherever and whenever needed,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of USSTRATCOM. “We need to integrate our strategic capabilities in order to deliver multi-domain effects against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.”

Headquarters staff, USSTRATCOM components and subordinate units participated in Global Thunder 2018 to test readiness to confront uncertainty and ensure a safe, secure, effective and ready strategic deterrent force.

Multiple bases and aircraft participated in the exercise including B-52 Stratofortress bombers deploying to Minot Air Force Base, N.D. from Barksdale AFB, La. The 343rd Bomb Squadron and 707th Maintenance Squadron, both classic associate units assigned to the 307th Bomb Wing and integrated with the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale, participated in the exercise.

“We have participated for several years and each year is a learning experience; helping us grow as a squadron,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Rayborn, the aircraft maintenance superintendent, assigned to the 707th Maintenance Squadron. “As the only nuclear certified maintenance squadron in the Reserve, this helps us solidify our part in the nuclear triad and brings us great pride.”

“The 343rd BS also played a large part in the exercise,” said Col. John Booker, commander of the 343rd BS. “We provided all of our Weapons Systems Officers to participate at Minot as well as the majority of the weapons inspectors there while also generating B-52s.”

The 307th Bomb Wing is the Air Force Reserve Command’s only nuclear certified wing. It has approximately 2,000 assigned personnel with the B-52 Stratofortress and B-1 Lancer assigned and operates out of Barksdale AFB, La. and Dyess AFB, Texas.