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​Two Air Force Global Strike Command B-52 Stratofortress bombers taxi while three others take off from the flight line at Minot AFB, N.D., Nov. 8, 2015, during Exercise Global Thunder 16. Air Force photo by A1C Justin Armstong.

​Six Air Force Global Strike Command bomber and missile wings responded to a series of mock nuclear threats as part of US Strategic Command's annual operational command and control exercise this month. "Global Thunder gives us an ability to exercise our role as our nation's premiere deterrent force," AFGSC boss Gen. Robin Rand said in a release. "Our airmen had the opportunity to hone their skills as they support our nuclear deterrence and global strike missions for situations we don't normally experience," added the command’s crisis action team director Col. Eric Moore. B-52s launched from Barksdale AFB, La., and Minot AFB, N.D., while B-2s participated from Whiteman AFB, Mo. Missile wings at Minot, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., and Malmstrom AFB, Mont., additionally took part in the combined command staff and field exercises, beginning Nov. 2. U-2s acting under USSTRATCOM's Task Force 204 also contributed strategic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support for the exercise from Beale AFB, Calif., according to a base release. The week-long exercise concluded Nov. 8.