OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. â€“ U.S. Strategic Command concluded, Global Lightning 15, its annual exercise to assess its ability to deter and detect strategic attacks against the U.S. and its allies, March 25.
For the first time, Global Lightning was held in conjunction with three other combatant command exercises -- U.S. European Command’s Austere Challenge 15, U.S. Africa Command’s Judicious Response 15 and U.S. Transportation Command’s Turbo Challenge 15.
“We partner with others every day to address a broad range of global challenges, but we have never held this exercise concurrently with three other combatant command exercises,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander. “As a joint military force, clearly it is important that we train relative to the complexity of today's dynamic strategic and security environments.Â This allows us to synchronize and increase our collective joint operational readiness while enhancing relationships between the combatant commands and our allies and partners.”
The exercise was based on a notional scenario with fictitious adversaries and unrelated to ongoing world events.
“Global Lightning 15 provided us a chance to increase our interoperability between each of the combatant commands involved,” said Maj. Gen. Heidi V. Brown, USSTRATCOM director of global operations. “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.”
Command and control exercises, routine strategic weapons tests and operations that support assurance and deterrence objectives hone readiness throughout the headquarters and the strategic deterrence forces.
“I have absolute confidence in my force,” said Haney. “Whether exercising or executing our important mission, they are always ready, detecting, deterring and preventing strategic attack against the U.S. and our allies, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.”