Global Thunder 18: Team Whiteman participates in annual USSTRATCOM Exercise

  • Published
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Members of Team Whiteman recently completed Exercise Global Thunder 2018 (GT18), U.S. Strategic Command’s (USSTRATCOM) annual field training and command and control exercise.

GT18 provided training opportunities for all USSTRATCOM mission areas, several of which Team Whiteman supports, and involved extensive planning and coordination to provide unique training opportunities.


The scenario for GT18 integrated a variety of strategic threats to the United States and validated the capabilities of all the USSTRATCOM assets that would be provided to geographic combatant commanders in a real-world crisis, including space; cyber; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; global strike; and ballistic missile defense assets.

In response to the scenario, Team Whiteman, which is comprised of active-duty Airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing, as well as Missouri Air National Guardsmen from the 131st Bomb Wing, readied and launched numerous B-2 Spirit aircraft. The sorties demonstrated the Total Force team’s ability to effectively and efficiently execute the mission anytime, anywhere.

Because of the B-2 Spirit’s unique and pivotal capabilities, Team Whiteman trains daily to ensure its operational readiness. The B-2, which is maintained and operated by the fully integrated Total Force team at Whiteman, is one of the key aircraft used to support USSTRATCOM’s and Air Force Global Strike Command’s global strike and strategic deterrence missions.

The B-2’s low-observable or stealth capabilities provide U.S. decision makers at the highest levels of the military and the government the capability to deter strategic attacks and, if necessary, penetrate the most secure defense systems to deliver a massive payload when ordered.