OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. â€“ U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), one of nine U.S. unified commands under the Department of Defense, will conduct Exercise GLOBAL THUNDER 2016 with components and tasks forces beginning Nov. 2, 2015.Â
GLOBAL THUNDER 2016 is being held in conjunction with North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command’s Exercise VIGILANT SHIELD 2016, which aims to train participants in homeland defense.
In coordination with other combatant commands, services and appropriate U.S. government agencies, USSTRATCOM conducts global operations to deter and detect strategic attacks against the U.S. and its allies, and is prepared to defend the nation as directed.
Exercise GLOBAL THUNDER is an annual command and control exercise designed to train Department of Defense forces, assess joint operational readiness, and validate the ability to identify and mitigate attacks across all of USSTRATCOM’s mission areas, with a specific focus on cyber, space, missile defense and nuclear readiness. The exercise provides training opportunities for USSTRATCOM to validate the ability to posture 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. To ensure resilience, redundancy and survivability of our nation’s strategic deterrent forces, the scenario for GLOBAL THUNDER integrates nearly every conceivable strategic threat to our nation and calls upon all the USSTRATCOM capabilities that would be provided to geographic combatant commanders in a real-world crisis: space, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, global strike, and ballistic missile defense capabilities. The exercise has been planned for more than a year and is based on a notional scenario.Â
"The United States' ability to maintain a safe, secure, effective and credible nuclear deterrent is foundational to our national security and contributes to the security of our allies and partners," said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander. "This exercise, and our continued focus on maintaining key capabilities and skills, ensures USSTRATCOM's strategic forces remain ready, 24/7, providing flexible and credible options for the President and the Department of Defense."