BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Exercise Global Thunder 18, an annual command post and field training exercise, concluded here Nov. 7, 2017 with Beale Air Force Base and the 9th Reconnaissance Wing playing a key role.
GT 18 is an annual U.S. Strategic Command training event which assesses command and control capabilities in all USSTRATCOM mission sets and allows component commands a venue to assess their joint readiness and preparedness.
“Global Thunder offers the 9th Reconnaissance Wing an opportunity to increase our interoperability within STRATCOM as well as highlight our high-altitude ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capabilities,” said Col. Larry Broadwell, 9th RW commander. “Our unique capabilities provide intelligence which fills a vital role in the command and control realm.”
The exercise involved a variety of base agencies testing readiness techniques for mass deployments and the movement of aircraft to simulate real-world scenarios with global reach.
During GT 18, the personnel deployment function of the 9th Force Support Squadron Military Processing Flight assisted with mass deployment scenarios.
“We make sure eligible Airmen are able to deploy and get out the door to the area of responsibility and combatant commanders,” said Master Sgt. Rosemarie DeNogean, 9th FSS Military Processing Flight acting superintendent. “This exercise has allowed our Airmen currently in upgrade training to get real, hands-on experience in our core personnel role, which has been invaluable.”
During the week-long exercise, both Beale and Mather Airfield were utilized as training areas. Mather was staged as a deployed location for the U-2 Dragon Lady.
“Utilizing Mather Airfield gives us the ability to increase the realism of our scenarios, eliminate some artificiality and give our Airmen the chance to test capabilities and mission sets,” Broadwell, said.
The ability to launch aircraft in support of the exercise allows Beale Airmen the opportunity to train like they fight.
“The deployment process for those of us headed down to Mather is very realistic,” said Capt. Steven, 99th Reconnaissance Squadron U-2 pilot. “The different organizations involved on Beale have done a great job simulating the experience that I have had in past real-world deployments. “
Broadwell applauded all the Airmen involved in GT for their hard work.
“I am extremely proud of how the wing performed during this exercise,” he said. “Any opportunity for us to work in sync with other agencies and installations towards a common goal is a win.”
The 9th Reconnaissance Wing is responsible for providing national and theater command authorities with timely, reliable, high-quality, high-altitude reconnaissance products. The wing also maintains a high state of readiness in its expeditionary combat support forces for potential deployment in response to theater contingencies and enhances the USSTRATCOM ISR mission by utilizing mission-ready aircraft to detect and deter strategic threats against the U.S. and its allies.