Minot participates in international exercise
By Senior Airman Danny Monahan , Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
/ Published May 30, 2006
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
Team Minot B-52H Stratofortress crews joined U.S. Navy, Canadian Forces, British Armed Forces and other NATO allies as part of Trident Fury to exercise service and coalition warfighting interoperability.
The exercise, held from May 9 to 18, is a multi-national training event combining land, sea, and air components lead by Canada’s Joint Task Force Pacific headquarters.
Trident Fury is also the largest training exercise ever to be held off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Approximately 2,000 soldiers, sailors and Airmen took part in the 11-day war game, using more than 50 aircraft and several naval vessels.
“Trident Fury is a strenuous test of our compatibility and all aspects of our warfighting ability,” said Maj. Glenn Shilland, 5th Operations Support Squadron. “It is incredibly important that we practice in these joint combined exercises, because that is how we deploy globally — with our sister services and allies.”
Minot’s role was to fly two sorties a day participating in “Red vs. Blue” exercises preparing for a May 16 actual weapons release. On May 16 Minot successfully delivered 18 MK-62 Quickstrike training mines dropping them in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a strait between northwest Washington State and Vancouver Island.
“Our involvement in Trident Fury was a full spectrum conventional work-out, which could not have been performed by any airframe other than the B-52,” said Major Shilland. “Our crews flexed their muscles to the max.”
In order to outfit the B-52s with mines, the U.S. Navy sent a team from the Mobile Mine Assembly Unit 11, Charleston, S.C., here to provide and support the assembly of the 18 MK-62 Quickstrike training mines for the exercise.
“MOMAU 11 is the only service and exercise and training shop in the continental U.S.,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Marquis Patton, MOMAU 11 commander. “Our primary mission is to maintain the nation’s preposition war reserve mine stockpile and to provide exercise and training mine material in support of the Armed Forces, including Minot.”
The Minot’s 5th Bomb Wing is one of only three units in the Air Force arsenal that can transport naval mines.
“Trident Fury was a great opportunity for the 5th Bomb Wing to display B-52 capabilities, get realistic combat training and integrate with not just other Air Force units but U.S. Navy, Canadian Navy, our U.K. counterparts and Canadian forward air controllers. It also allowed us to get training releasing actual mines.” said Capt. Michael Pritchett, 5th OSS wing weapons officer and Minot’s mission planning cell team chief for Trident Fury.