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U.S. Strategic Command completes global joint operations, readiness exercise

509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-2 Spirit crew chiefs conduct preflight checks at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri in support of Global Thunder 21. Photo by SSgt. Dylan Nuckolls/USSTRATCOM
509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-2 Spirit crew chiefs conduct preflight checks at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri in support of Global Thunder 21. Photo by SSgt. Dylan Nuckolls/USSTRATCOM

Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Strategic Command announced the successful completion on Wednesday of "Global Thunder 21," an annual exercise involving over 150,000 personnel.

The nine-day command and control exercise focuses on realistic training scenarios for nuclear readiness of U.S. forces around the world, allied nations and partner organizations.

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It is designed to deter and defeat a simulated strategic attack against the United States, USSTRATCOM officials said in a press release.

The exercise is essentially a rehearsal of actions in the event of a nuclear war, with portions occurring at multiple locations, notably USSTRATCOM headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

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"Global Thunder 21 also involves allied personnel from Australia and the United Kingdom," USSTRATCOM said at the start of Global Thunder 21 in a statement. "Allied personnel integrate into senior leadership teams and work across a broad spectrum of areas, offering public affairs and policy support, as well as deterrence and information operations insight."

The event took one year of planning, a USSTRATCOM statement on Wednesday said.

"Bravo Zulu to all those who were involved in development and execution of this year's exercise," Adm. Charles Richard, USSTRATCOM commander, said at the conclusion of the exercise. "I have complete confidence, now more than ever, in the men and women standing watch around the globe 24 hours a day, seven days a week who provide the credible deterrent which underpins all other joint force operations."

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"Throughout the exercise, USSTRATCOM continued to fulfill its 24/7 global responsibilities, including strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense and analysis and targeting," he added.

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