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News | Oct. 31, 2019

USSTRATCOM proves nuclear readiness, conducts bomber fly-off during Global Thunder 20

By U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

After nearly two weeks of intense simulations and training opportunities, United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) successfully completed Global Thunder 20.

This year’s exercise, which included a Bomber Task Force mission in Europe, focused on joint operations, command & control objectives, and nuclear force readiness.

“I am proud of the hard work and dedication all of our USSTRATCOM team members put toward successfully achieving our overall goals,” said Gen. John Hyten, commander of USSTRATCOM. “These integrated exercises not only test our skills, but also how we communicate and synchronize with our components, partner combatant commands and allies.”

Global Thunder 20 was linked to Vigilant Shield 20, the annual North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command exercise focused on homeland defense. These mission partnerships reinforce and strengthen links between commands, bolstering global strategic deterrence.

For the Bomber Task Force, B-2 Spirit and B-52H Stratofortress aircraft launched from America, connected with deployed B-52Hs at RAF Fairford and integrated with key allied fighter aircraft over the skies of Europe, then returned to their home stations. During the mission, the U.S. and allies, to include Poland and the UK, tested areas of mutual concern and fortified military collaboration.

“This bomber fly-off was unique because of the extended range and the integration with our deployed bomber forces and allies,” said Maj. Gen. S.L. Davis, USSTRATCOM Director of Global Operations. “It demonstrates our ability to rapidly deploy bomber forces across the globe, a key capability that underpins our deterrence and assurance objectives. While less visible, we also exercised our Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and Ballistic Missile Submarine forces in new and challenging ways.

“It’s remarkable how USSTRATCOM soldiers, sailors, Airmen and Marines make these highly complex and difficult operations look routine,” he concluded.

Throughout Global Thunder 20, USSTRATCOM continued to fulfill its 24/7 global responsibilities including strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.    

For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-294-4130 or or visit