Exercises GLOBAL THUNDER and VIGILANT SHIELD 20 commenced today to provide integrated training opportunities for U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).
USSTRATCOM leads GLOBAL THUNDER 20, an annual command and control exercise that provides training opportunities that assess all USSTRATCOM mission areas and joint and field training operational readiness, with a specific focus on nuclear readiness. This exercise employs global operations in coordination with other combatant commands, services, appropriate U.S. government agencies, and allies to deter, detect and, if necessary, defeat strategic attacks against the United States and its allies.
NORAD and USNORTHCOM leads VIGILANT SHIELD 20, an annual homeland defense exercise focusing on the single, unyielding priority of defending the homeland from attack. The exercise tests the readiness in response to a wide variety of national security contingencies incorporating other combatant commands, services, appropriate U.S. government agencies, and allies to defend North America.
For GLOBAL THUNDER 20, the headquarters staff, USSTRATCOM components and subordinate units are participating in this exercise to test readiness and ensure a safe, secure, ready and reliable strategic deterrent force.
GLOBAL THUNDER also involves allied personnel from a variety of nations, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Allied personnel integrate into senior leadership teams and work across a broad spectrum of areas, offering legal, public affairs and policy support; as well as targeting and information operations insight.
Large-scale exercises, like GLOBAL THUNDER and VIGILANT SHIELD, involve extensive coordination to provide unique training for assigned units and allies.
USSTRATCOM has global responsibilities assigned through the Unified Command Plan that include strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.