Global Thunder concludes at Tinker

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Mary Begy
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.-- Exercise Global Thunder 22, an annual U.S. Strategic Command nuclear command and control and field training exercise, concluded Nov. 7, 2021, with elements of the 507th Air Refueling Wing taking part.

Global Thunder is designed around realistic training activities against simulated adversaries with the goal of evaluating areas to further improve nuclear readiness and strategic deterrent capabilities. This training involves increased bomber flights, missileer training, and U.S. Navy Submarine Forces ballistic missile submarine readiness, designed to verify reliability and resilience of the nuclear triad.

The Airmen of the 507th ARW provided alert KC-135R Stratotanker air refueling support during the exercise. Participating in the exercise enabled the wing inspection team to observe and evaluate the wing’s response actions.

“Global Thunder allows the 507th to demonstrate Air Force Nuclear readiness and exercise capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Marvin Ashbaker, 465th Air Refueling Squadron director of operations. “We look for mission effectiveness and how well we can execute the mission effectively within required timelines.”

Global Thunder emphasizes the 507th ARW’s contribution to the strategic deterrence mission, which requires Airmen to be on alert 24 hours a day in support of USSTRATCOM requirements.

According to the Inspector General team, the strategic deterrence mission is a wing priority. The wing inspection team, made up of about 30 inspectors, participated in this exercise evaluating hundreds of requirements for the commander.

“The inspectors observe, report, and provide meaningful evaluation of wing readiness and recommendations for improvements,” Ashbaker said. “Both unit and wing inspection team members showed a sense of urgency and willingness to work aggressively on areas that need improvement.”

Global Thunder employed global operations in coordination with other combatant commands, services, and appropriate U.S. government agencies including the 507th ARW to deter, detect and, if necessary, defeat strategic attacks against the United States and its allies.

Col. Michael Parks, 507th Air Refueling Wing commander, stressed the importance of exercises like Global Thunder.

“The Okies use higher headquarters exercises to ensure all aspects of our wing integrate seamlessly to deliver airpower anytime and anywhere,” said Parks. “Global Thunder 22 afforded us the opportunity to generate and evaluate our contributions to the US Strategic Command tasked mission.”

Parks stressed that this exercise was more robust than many others in the last few years.

“The efforts of our Security Forces, Force Support, Logistics Readiness, Command and Control, Operations, and Maintenance Airmen once again demonstrated our preparedness to succeed in the high end fight when called upon by our nation,” said Parks.

For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs office at 402-912-0020 or or visit