Team Fairchild participates in Global Thunder 2019
By 2nd Lt. Savanah Koontz, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 07, 2019
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Team Fairchild Airmen practiced rapid response, mission readiness and enhancing total force operations during Exercise Global Thunder 20 from Oct. 21 to 24, here.
Global Thunder is an annual command and control exercise designed to ensure U.S. Strategic Command forces’ ability to respond and execute controlled operational procedures during simulated conflict scenarios while assessing joint operational readiness.
Global Thunder required extensive planning, coordination and preparation to provide unique training opportunities for assigned units and forces.
“Global Thunder is a USSTRATCOM exercise that coordinates with many bases within the United States, so it becomes a very large undertaking for linking several bases together,” said Master Sgt. Clayton Simon, 92nd ARW inspector general exercise planner. “It gives us the opportunity to take what we do so well and tie it into a larger picture.”
Testing readiness to confront uncertainty ensures we maintain a safe, secure, effective and ready strategic force.
“The exercise is about providing strategic refueling capabilities in a larger picture around the world,” said Simon. “Being able to take our tankers and match them up with receivers all around the world showcases how we are able to mobilize quickly.”
Exercises like Global Thunder don’t happen without dedicated and skilled Airmen, who Simon credits for the success of the exercise.
“There’s a lot involved to making sure jets and flyers are ready to take off on time,” said Simon. “It’s not just people in flight suits, it’s not just people turning wrenches; it takes everyone on base to pull these exercises together.”
Team Fairchild provides support to various missions around the world as a “super-tanker” wing, and is vital to the Department of Defense’s ability to execute missions around the globe.
“We are the nation’s premier air refueling team,” said Col. Derek Salmi, 92nd ARW commander. “With the increase in tankers and a new squadron this year, we are even more capable of providing support to any mission around the world. By participating in exercises like Global Thunder, we prove to our adversaries that if we’re called upon, we can respond anytime, anywhere.”