5th Bomb Wing and 2nd Bomb Wing work together for Exercise Prairie/Bayou Vigilance 24-2

Written by: Senior Airman Caleb S. Kimmell, 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Defenders from the 5th Security Forces Squadron sweep of the flight line during a purge in support of Exercise Prairie Vigilance/Bayou Vigilance 24-2 at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Jan. 5, 2024. A “purge” consists of a team of defenders sweeping the flightline for any hazardous material and securing the area. U.S. Air Force Photo I Senior Airman Alexander Nottingham

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.

An Airman assigned to the 5th Civil Engineer Squadron plows snow on the flight line during the Exercise Prairie Vigilance/Bayou Vigilance 24-2 (PV/BV) at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Jan. 7, 2024. Exercises such as PV/BV enhance skills such as resilience, competitiveness, innovation and process improvement.
U.S. Air Force Photo I Airman 1st Class Alyssa Bankston


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.”

Members of Team Minot load a Air-Launched Cruise Missiles onto a B-52H Stratofortress during operation Prairie/Bayou Vigilance 24-2 at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota Dec. 6, 2024. As routine training missions, the vigilance series enhances the safety, security, and reliability of the bomber leg of the U.S. nuclear triad.
U.S. Air Force Photo I Airman 1st Class Luis Gomez


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.

Two Airmen assigned to the 5th Maintenance Group move hazard cones during Exercise Prairie Vigilance/Bayou Vigilance (PV/BV) 24-2 at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Jan. 5, 2024. Exercises such as PV/BV ensure Team Minot Airmen stay proficient in a variety of key operational skills.
U.S. Air Force Photo I Senior Airman Evan Lichtenhan

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