U.S. to Conduct Strategic Bomber Exercise

Nuclear drills follow ‘massive’ Russian war games last week

The U.S. Strategic Command, which is in charge of waging nuclear war, will hold large-scale bomber exercises this week—days after Russia held what Moscow called “massive” war games simulating a U.S. and NATO nuclear attack.

Ten U.S. B-52 bombers and up to six B-2 strategic bombers will take part in the war games called “Global Lightning 14” from Monday through May 16, the command said in a statement late Sunday.

Global Lightning, planned for more than a year,  will began days after Russian President Vladimir Putin last week oversaw what Russian defense officials called a “massive” nuclear war drill that simulated U.S. and NATO nuclear attacks.

Stratcom said in its statement, in an apparent reference to the Russian war games, that “the timing of the exercise is unrelated to real-world events.”

Russia is seeking to create a federated state in Ukraine as part of Putin’s announced plan to restore elements of the Soviet Union. The Russian leader regards many of the former Soviet republics surrounding Russia, including Ukraine, as the “near abroad” that Moscow wants to control.

The Russian war games included the test launch of a SS-25 Topol intercontinental missile and two SS-N-23 submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Additional missile firings included six Russian air-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles.

It could not be learned if Global Lightning will include U.S. missile launches.

A Stratcom spokeswoman declined to provide further details of the exercise.

“Global Lightning 14 is designed to provide training opportunities and to test and validate command and control procedures for U.S. Strategic Command and its subordinate units,” said Army Lt. Col. Stephanie Bounds, the spokeswoman.

Full article: U.S. to Conduct Strategic Bomber Exercise (Washington Free Beacon)

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