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NEWS | July 25, 2022

First Army to participate in Northern Strike

By Staff Sgt. Tristan D. Viglianco Michigan National Guard Public Affairs

Northern Strike 22-2, the country’s largest National Guard Bureau-sponsored military exercise, is scheduled to take place across Northern Michigan’s National All-Domain Warfighting Center (NADWC) Aug. 6-20, 2022.

Approximately 7,400 participants from 19 states and several coalition countries will participate in one of Michigan’s largest-ever iterations of Northern Strike, designed to validate readiness of the joint and reserve force.

“For a decade, Northern Strike has evolved into one of our nation’s most important tools for shaping our reserve forces into some of the best warfighters in the world,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Adam Jenzen, Northern Strike land component exercise director. “We are excited to build on this legacy by demonstrating how the exercise allows units from all branches and components to train in a complex, joint environment while completing pre-mobilization requirements.”

The Northern Strike exercise series is designed to effectively build responsive, ready and lethal formations through the validation of readiness requirements by National Guard Bureau, First Army, and the Department of Defense.

Visiting units will have access to 148,000 acres of maneuver space and more than 17,000 square miles of special-use airspace available at the NADWC. Centered around the Camp Grayling Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, the NADWC provides an adaptable, cost-effective training environment.

“Northern Strike provides units a chance to experience the unique military training resources Michigan has to offer,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “After training in an innovative environment like the NADWC, they become more effective warfighters, ready to meet any demand our nation asks of them.”

The latest iteration will feature participants from all three Army components, Air Force active duty and Guard, as well as both Marine components and Navy reserve. Latvia, the Michigan National Guard’s state partner; the United Kingdom and Canada will also participate.

“Our exercise tests the ability of units to coordinate across coalitions and components in a variety of warfighting functions,” said Jenzen. “We push participants past their comfort zones, so when they leave here they are more proficient in core battlefield skills, whether that is maneuver, logistics, or communication.”

A new feature of this year’s Northern Strike is the integration of the Michigan Air National Guard’s exercise Northern Agility 22-2. Northern Agility 22-2 will feature A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, MC-12 aircraft, W/MC-130 aircraft and KC-135 aircraft conducting operations from Cherry Capital Airport, Grayling Army Airfield, Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, Alpena CRTC and Battle Creek Executive Airport on consecutive days, Aug. 8-12. This will demonstrate joint integration into the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept, which is the ability to generate airpower anytime, anywhere.

“Northern Agility is incorporated seamlessly with Northern Strike to show how ACE can be integrated into the joint fight,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, commander of the Michigan Air National Guard. “Northern Strike provides the perfect backdrop for Michigan to continue moving key Air Force doctrines forward as a center of excellence for ACE.”

In addition to enhancing readiness, Northern Strike provides a boost to the local Alpena and Grayling economies. On average it brings approximately $30 million to Northern Michigan’s economy through military pay, travel and local spending each year.

“The local communities of Northern Michigan have been critical in growing Northern Strike over the last decade, '' said Jenzen. “The patriotism and support they continue to provide has truly helped amplify the readiness of the men and women who serve our state and nation.”

For more information please contact the Michigan National Guard Public Affairs office at 517-481-7735 or ng.mi.miarng.list.pao@army.mil

For additional Northern Strike 22-2 content please visit: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/NorthernStrike22