705 MUNS supports Global Thunder 23

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zachary Wright
  • Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

Global Thunder is the most extensive command and control exercise in which the 5th Bomb Wing participates, and the 705th Munitions Squadron plays one of the most critical roles in the exercise, which is U.S. Strategic Command’s largest.

Global Thunder, which involves all three legs of the nuclear triad, is conducted annually to assess the posture of the 5th BW and other USSTRATCOM units, and their ability to react to a strategic threat in a given timeline. During GT, the 5th BW’s B-52H Stratofortress aircraft are put on alert status and Airmen assigned to the 705th MUNS are responsible for transporting munitions to the aircraft during that time.

“When the 5th BW is tasked to generate, 705th MUNS changes focus and our members are moved from their primary duties to perform a generation task,”  said Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Foerster, 705th MUNS air-launched cruise missile flight chief. “Events like GT allow our members to hone their skills as well as look for ways to increase proficiency and expedite operations.”

Airmen with the 705th MUNS maintain operations around the clock during the exercise, ensuring they can safely transport strike packages to the flightline so the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron can load them, and get the aircraft to alert status without stopping. Due to the nature of their role, 705th MUNS’ mission is an absolute no-fail mission, with every minute being significant.

“We maintain our 24 hour operations to ensure we can respond to issues on the flightline, bring additional weapons to the fight if needed, and be immediately available upon notification to stand down our alert status,” said Foerster. “We could be asked to launch aircraft at any time and therefore we maintain a posture of being ready to execute.”

Although there are many components at play during GT, 705th MUNS holds a unique spot being the only munitions squadron in the Department of Defense that supports two wings. Their critical role at Minot Air Force Base ensures the 5th BW’s readiness to confront uncertainty and maintain a safe, secure, effective and ready strategic deterrent force.