MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. —
Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota and the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana participated in Exercise Prairie Vigilance/Bayou Vigilance 24-2 here, Jan. 4-7, 2024.
The Vigilance exercise series 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. Exercise PV/BV is designed to test both wings’ ability to conduct strategic bomber readiness operations by enabling the 5th and 2nd Bomb Wings to work together.
“This exercise has certainly been tough”, said SrA Dylan Carentan, 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew technician. “This exercise is a perfect way to measure our ability to show force and deter our adversaries. We want to show off what we’ve been training on for the past few months. It’s one thing to train all the time, but this is my opportunity to show what I’ve learned, and I’m giving it my best.”
The exercise tests maintenance Airmen, security forces Airmen, bomber aircrew and command and control Airmen 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.
A unique aspect about this year’s Exercise PV/BV is the inclusion of our partners from the 2nd Bomb Wing from Barksdale AFB. With four B-52H Stratofortresses from their fleet flying north to Team Minot, this helps Minot Airmen work with Airmen from other squadrons, while still perfecting the craft.
“We’re out here to see how quickly we can respond and generate the aircraft on a short notice mission, while working with the 5th Bomb Wing,” said TSgt. Jeremiah Hinsley, 2nd Bomb Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of Avionics. “I respond to things aircrew may find in their preflight inspections, and things have been going very smoothly for us so far. It’s my third time here for a PV/VB, and the spirits are high.”
Exercises like Prairie Vigilance/Bayou Vigilance ensure the forces assigned to U.S. Strategic Command are organized, trained, and equipped for the tasks they are asked to do on a daily basis as well as respond to emerging crises.