Maximum Effort

B-52 bombers flew in two major exercises, flexing nuclear and conventional strike forces on a global scale, according to Air Force Global Strike Command officials. As two B-52s returned to Barksdale AFB, La., on June 11 from a simulated maritime strike over the Baltic Sea, another 10 bombers launched on a mass nuclear-generation exercise from Minot AFB, N.D., states a June 15 Barksdale release. BALTOPS, the NATO exercise in the Baltic, “was a good example of how the Air Force can support the US Navy’s operations by striking targets at sea,” said Robert Thomson, AFGSC exercise division chief. “This type of exercise is a prime example of how teamwork among different nations can help increase stability,” he added. Constant Vigilance, the second exercise, proved the nuclear bomber force’s ability to “respond quickly and efficiently to real world situations,” said Thomson. Both exercises validated AFGSC’s ability to “support both conventional and nuclear missions simultaneously,” he added. (Barksdale report by Carla Pampe)