Road Warrior sharpens skills of missile wing defenders

A mock convoy drives through Camp Guernsey, Wyoming, Aug. 18, 2021, as part of operation Road Warrior. Operation Road Warrior is a 20th Air Force training exercise that assesses nuclear convoy operations which are regularly conducted by security forces, maintenance and helicopter groups. A convoy consists of a group of military vehicles secured by trained defenders which transports nuclear components. (U.S. Air Force video by Airman 1st Class Charles Munoz)

Road Warrior is an annual training event that tests the convoy tactics, techniques and procedures of missile wing defenders to ensure they remain ready to meet the challenges of protecting the nation’s ICBM force.

“I hope our Airmen walk away from this with a greater respect for the power of their entire team,” said Col. Catherine Barrington, 90th Missile Wing commander. “They have to shoot, move and communicate, and bring down the desired effect upon the adversary. Being a teammate is incredibly important and something that we all have to do; so if they understand that, we will be successful on the battlefield.

The controlled environment provided by the 90th Ground Combat Training Squadron at Camp Guernsey allowed security forces convoys to practice realistic transit scenarios, engagements with opposing forces and integration with aerial support provided by the 37th Helicopter Squadron stationed at F.E. Warren AFB. The teams were graded on their response to each scenario, providing them opportunity to hone their skills day-by-day.

”We want to test our capabilities against an opposing force and really see what we’re made of in these environments,” said Maj. Dexter Binion, 90th GCTS commander. “The battlespace here allows for that to happen, where we can test the capabilities of the weapons systems and our leaders’ critical thinking skills in a controlled environment founded on stress and see what they bring to the fight.”

The exercise hosted various Headquarters Air Force, U.S. Strategic Command, Numbered Air Force, and wing leadership throughout its duration, affording senior leaders first-hand perspective on how the Airmen performed and adapted to various challenges, as well as the opportunity to interact with the participants.

“Every time you go out on a convoy, you have to be prepared for what you faced today,” said Lt. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, USSTRATCOM deputy commander, as he addressed the defenders. “You are the line of defense between those who want to do harm and a nuclear weapon. They will watch you, and you want to convince them without any hesitation that today is not their day.”

After a week of hard work and training, Airmen return back to their home station units to carry the lessons learned to their teammates.

“Road Warrior is important because day in, day out, when we have missions, we are expected to perform,” said Airman 1st Class Jacob Gann, 90th Missile Security Operations Squadron contingency response force member. “We get put to the test here to see where we’re at and make sure we’re doing the job the right way.”

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, defenders from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., were not able to attend.

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A mock convoy drives through Camp Guernsey, Wyoming, Aug. 18, 2021, as part of operation Road Warrior. Operation Road Warrior is a 20th Air Force training exercise that assesses nuclear convoy operations which are regularly conducted by security forces, maintenance and helicopter groups. A convoy consists of a group of military vehicles secured by trained defenders which transports nuclear components. (U.S. Air Force video by Airman 1st Class Charles Munoz)

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