Air Force Global Strike Command participated April 8-17 in Constant Vigilance, an annual exercise that tests its ability to conduct both conventional and nuclear operations.
“The primary focus of the exercise is the generation of our bomber and (intercontinental ballistic missile) forces, but it has evolved to increase the participation of the entire AFGSC team,” said Maj. Ryan Graves, the chief of AFGSC exercises. “As the AFGSC mission continues to expand, our exercise team will continue developing challenging scenarios to ensure our forces our ready and able to meet the growing threat environment.”
Exercise elements like cyberattacks and force protection scenarios tested base-level AFGSC headquarters responses.
Although the command hosts the exercise annually, new this year was the incorporation of the 7th and 28th Bomb Wings’ B-1B Lancers and the 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Overall, Constant Vigilance tested the command’s ability to respond to conventional and nuclear operations as well as its ability to protect itself against small ground attacks against its bases. The event is only one of several annual exercises that AFGSC participates in to include U.S. Strategic Command’s Global Lightning and Global Thunder.
“We wanted to test the command’s ability to communicate with all of its components and stress those assets in an effort to make the scenario as realistic as possible,” said Navy Lt. Mitch Normand, the executive chief of AFGSC exercises. “Such an effort forces everyone to focus on the bigger picture rather than remain ‘stove-piped’ in their individual areas. These exercises not only allow us to train how we fight, they remind us that we always have to maintain a ‘one-team’ mindset.”