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Fairchild fuels Global Thunder 2019

A KC-135 Stratotanker performs a refueling connection with a B-52 Stratofortress during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 over the U.S. Northwestern Region, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

A KC-135 Stratotanker performs a refueling connection with a B-52 Stratofortress during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 over the U.S. Northwestern Region, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

An aircrew from the 384th Air Refueling Squadron flies a KC-135 Stratotanker during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 over the U.S. Northwestern Region, Novermber 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

An aircrew from the 384th Air Refueling Squadron flies a KC-135 Stratotanker during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 over the U.S. Northwestern Region, Novermber 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

Aircrews from Fairchild conduct an alert response during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenariors. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

Aircrews from Fairchild conduct an alert response during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenariors. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

Staff Sgt. Austin Garcia and Senior Airman Dan O'Connor, 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs, remove engine covers as part of an alert response during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 at Fairchild Staff Sgt. Austin Garcia and Senior Airman Dan O'Connor, 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs, remove engine covers as part of an alert response during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

Staff Sgt. Austin Garcia and Senior Airman Dan O'Connor, 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs, remove engine covers as part of an alert response during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 at Fairchild Staff Sgt. Austin Garcia and Senior Airman Dan O'Connor, 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs, remove engine covers as part of an alert response during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

Staff Sgt. Austin Garcia and Senior Airman Dan O'Connor, 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs supervise pre-flight checks during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

Staff Sgt. Austin Garcia and Senior Airman Dan O'Connor, 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs supervise pre-flight checks during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

A KC-135 Statotanker flies to perform refueling connections with a B-52 Stratofortress during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 over the U.S. Northwestern Region, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

A KC-135 Statotanker flies to perform refueling connections with a B-52 Stratofortress during Exercise Global Thunder 2019 over the U.S. Northwestern Region, November 2018. Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing Airmen's ability to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated combat scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

Fairchild Airmen focused on sustaining mission readiness, rapid response and enhancing total force operations during Exercise Global Thunder Oct. 29 through Nov. 6, 2018.

Global Thunder is a U.S. Strategic Command exercise designed to ensure an efficient mission response by testing the ability for Airmen to execute command, control and operational procedures during simulated conflict scenarios. The exercise provided training opportunities and exercise scenarios for all U.S. Strategic Command mission areas, with a specific focus on nuclear readiness.

As an air refueling team, the ability for Fairchild to successfully participate in exercises is essential to successfully providing mission support to the Department of Defense worldwide and deter strategic attack.

"We are the nation's premier air refueling team," said Col. Derek Salmi, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. "No combat mission is successful without tanker support so it is our responsibility to train to the highest standards and  remain ready to support combat operations around the globe. By participating in exercises like Global Thunder, we prove our capability to sustain the fight if called upon, anywhere and anytime."


USSTRATCOM has executed Global Thunder since 2005 to evaluate the ability to synchronize and deter enemies as a Total Force.

Team Fairchild’s successful role in Global Thunder would not be possible without the contributions from its Airmen base-wide.

“Every Airman on this base is critical in supporting the tankers here,” said Lt. Col. Sarah Lynch, 92nd ARW inspector general. “We stand ready and alert to be able to sustain the mission as a total force, and this would not be possible without the support of our Airmen.”

Pilots, maintainers and inflight refueling specialists work alongside each other 24 hours a day, making sure aircraft and crews can facilitate a rapid response at a moment’s notice.

“As a pilot, you rely a lot on procedure and habit,” said Maj. Stephen Massey, 92nd Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker pilot. “As soon as the alarm sounds, it’s time to put those procedures into action and hone the skills necessary to execute the mission.”

Exercises such as Global Thunder tests the force’s readiness to confront uncertainty. Fairchild Airmen continue to meet unpredictability head-on with consistent and proven performance to Fuel Global Reach at the Speed of War.