Team Minot completes Exercise Prairie Vigilance

Written by: Senior Airman Caleb S. Kimmell Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
Airmen assigned to the 705th Munitions Squadron conduct convoy operations during Prairie Vigilance 24-3 at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 6, 2024. Prairie Vigilance serves to assure allies and partners that the U.S. is ready to execute nuclear operations and global strike anytime, anywhere, in order to deter and, if necessary, respond to strategic attack. U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Kyle Wilson

Airmen from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota and the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana participated in Exercise Prairie Vigilance 24-3 here, April 6-12, 2024.

PV is a routine training mission that enhances the safety, security and reliability of the bomber leg of the U.S. nuclear triad. Exercises like PV enable crews to maintain a high state of readiness and proficiency, while validating the always-ready, global strike capability. Team Minot Airmen focus on the safe and secure handling of assets comprising the nuclear triad in order to stay proficient in a variety of key operational skills.

During PV, Airmen responsible for maintenance, security forces, aircrew, and command and control at Team Minot undergo rigorous training to ready them for potential threats against the United States and its allies.
Prairie Vigilance provides a realistic training environment for Global Strike Airmen to exercise flexible, strategic airpower. It is designed to test both bomb wings’ ability to conduct strategic bomber readiness operations by enabling the 5th and 2nd Bomb Wings to work together.

“We are here to show we can get the job done”, said Senior Airman Andre Goulet, 5th Security Forces Squadron defender. “My team has done a superb job. We are trained to the highest level, and are held to the highest standard. Through all forms of adversity; like weather or long shifts, we are the ones getting it done.”

A notable feature of this year’s Exercise PV is the collaboration with the 2nd Bomb Wing stationed at Barksdale AFB. The participation of four B-52H Stratofortresses from their fleet, flying north to join Team Minot, facilitates joint training opportunities for Minot Airmen alongside counterparts from other squadrons, enhancing skill sets while fostering cooperation.

“Airmen are the Air Force’s most lethal weapons system, and the Warbird-Airmen of the 5th Bomb Wing have demonstrated that during PV 24-3,” said Col. Daniel Hoadley, 5th Bomb Wing commander. “Prairie Vigilance demonstrated our commitment to safe, secure, effective nuclear operations. Further, this exercise is tangible proof that the Warbirds stand ready to deter strategic attack, and, if necessary, respond at a moments’ notice.”

Exercises like Prairie 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.

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