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Exercise Global Thunder 17 concludes at Tinker

A row of KC-135 Stratotankers sit on the Reserve Ramp at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Nov, 6, 2016. Citizen Airmen in the 507th Air Refueling Wing prepared these jets for alert air refueling support during exercise Global Thunder 17.  Exercise Global Thunder provides training opportunities for USSTRATCOM components, task forces, units and command posts to deter and, if necessary, defeat a military attack against the United States and to employ forces as directed by the President. (U.S. Air Force photo /Tech. Sgt. Charles Taylor/Released)

A row of KC-135 Stratotankers sit on the Reserve Ramp at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Nov, 6, 2016. Citizen Airmen in the 507th Air Refueling Wing prepared these jets for alert air refueling support during exercise Global Thunder 17. Exercise Global Thunder provides training opportunities for USSTRATCOM components, task forces, units and command posts to deter and, if necessary, defeat a military attack against the United States and to employ forces as directed by the President. (U.S. Air Force photo /Tech. Sgt. Charles Taylor/Released)

Citizen Airmen from the 507th Air Refueling Wing Command Post at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., test communication equipment during Exercise Global Thunder 17. Exercise Global Thunder provides training opportunities for USSTRATCOM components, task forces, units and command posts to deter and, if necessary, defeat a military attack against the United States and to employ forces as directed by the President. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Maj. Jon Quinlan/Released) (This image was blurred for operational security)

Citizen Airmen from the 507th Air Refueling Wing Command Post at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., test communication equipment during Exercise Global Thunder 17. Exercise Global Thunder provides training opportunities for USSTRATCOM components, task forces, units and command posts to deter and, if necessary, defeat a military attack against the United States and to employ forces as directed by the President. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Maj. Jon Quinlan/Released) (This image was blurred for operational security)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Exercise Global Thunder 17, an annual command post and field training exercise, concluded Oct. 31 with elements of the 507th Air Refueling Wing taking part.

U.S. Strategic Command, in coordination with U.S. and partner nation government agencies, conducted the exercise, which began Oct. 24, to train USSTRATCOM forces and assess joint operational readiness across all of the command’s Unified Command Plan-assigned mission areas.

The Citizen Airmen in the 507th ARW provided alert KC-135R Stratotanker air refueling support during the exercise.  Participating enabled the wing inspection team to observe and evaluate the wings response actions.

“This exercise is our dress rehearsal for our upcoming Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection,” said Col. Douglas Gullion, 507th ARW commander.  “I’m proud of the work our team accomplished this week.”

Global Thunder emphasizes the 507th ARW’s contribution to the strategic deterrence mission, which has Citizen Airmen on alert 24-hours-a-day in support of USSTRATCOM.

The strategic deterrence mission is a wing priority according to the Inspector General office. The wing inspection team, made up of about 30 inspectors, participated in this exercise evaluating hundreds of requirements for the commander. 

“The wing participates in Global Thunder every year so this was an opportunity to refine our procedures in an already planned exercise,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jamison Horn, 507th ARW Director of Exercises. “This exercise tested the unit and we are able to observe that and give recommendations to the commander on what can be improved on.” 

U.S. Strategic Command forces across the United States, to include Airmen in the 507th, participated in Global Thunder 17 to train and assess joint operational readiness.

“The scenario afforded USSTRATCOM’s headquarters staff, component commands and partners opportunities to validate existing operational plans and procedures while developing and testing innovative approaches for addressing complex and uncertain global security challenges,” said Maj. Gen. Heidi V. Brown, USSTRATCOM director of global operations. “Global Thunder 17 also provided us a chance to increase our interoperability between each of the combatant commands involved as well as our interagency partners and allies.”

Here at Tinker, Horn stressed that this exercise was more robust than many the wing has experienced in the last few years. 

“Global Thunder 17 was almost double the size of our last exercise,” said Horn. “The exercise players, WIT and everyone else involved deserve kudos for the work they accomplished.”  (U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs contributed to this report)


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