Minot Air Force Base Airmen
execute Exercise Prairie Vigilance

Written by: Senior Airman China M. Shock, 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
A B-52H Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, deploys its drag-chute during Exercise Prairie Vigilance, Nov. 3, 2022, at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Prairie Vigilance tests the 5th Bomb Wing’s ability to conduct strategic-bomber readiness operations. U.S. Air Force photos I Senior Airman Zachary Wright

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. —
Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing participated in Prairie Vigilance 23-1, an exercise designed to test the wing’s ability to conduct strategic-bomber readiness operations, Nov. 1-7.


Prairie Vigilance showcases Air Force Global Strike airpower and capabilities, ensuring Airmen are prepared and ready to execute their mission by providing a realistic training environment to exercise flexible, strategic airpower.
“These exercises enable the entire wing to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency, validating that we’re ready to strike. . . anytime, anywhere,” said Col. Daniel Hoadley, 5th Bomb Wing commander.


The exercise tests maintainers, security forces, bomber aircrews and command and control components to prepare them in the event of an attack against the United States and its allies.


Minot Air Force Base is home to two legs of the nuclear triad, with the 5th Bomb Wing having strategic bomber aircraft, and the 91st Missile Wing operating Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.


Prairie Vigilance also enhances the safety, security and reliability of the bomber leg of the U.S. nuclear triad. In addition, the exercise demonstrates the wing’s ability to stand alert and project lethal combat power across the globe, fulfilling its mandate to deter enemies and defend the nation.


“From the maintenance perspective, everything that you need for the aircraft, we provide it. We have to get the aircraft refueled, serviced, ready to fly,” said Master Sgt. Michael Schaff, a 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron lead production superintendent. “We have to make the aircraft ready for weapons to get loaded, then prep the aircraft for the aircrew members to get out there, make sure that they’re happy with the way the systems are operating, and missiles are function checking, that’s all maintenance.”


Exercises like Prairie Vigilance ensure operational forces are organized, trained, and equipped for the tasks they are asked to do on a daily basis. They also help make certain Airmen are prepared and empowered.

Maintenance Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing load a B-52H Stratofortress with Air-Launched Cruise Missiles during Exercise Prairie Vigilance, Nov. 4, 2022, at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Prairie Vigilance tests the 5th Bomb Wing’s ability to conduct strategic-bomber readiness operations.

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