July 28 (UPI) – Northern Strike 21.2, a two-week all-area training drill involving over 5,100 U.S. military reservists, begins this week in northern Michigan.
The annual event, hosted by the Michigan National Guard, is one of the National Guard’s largest joint preparedness exercises and this year includes members of the active U.S. Army, Army Ready Reserve, and Army National Guard; Marine Corps on active duty and reservists; Air Force active duty and reservists and the Navy Reserve.
Personnel from various states and territories will meet at the National All-Domain Warfighting Center for training that focuses on expeditionary skills, command and control, conservation and joint integrated fire, the Air National Guard said.
Troops from Great Britain, Latvia, Liberia and Taiwan are also expected.
The NADWC includes the Camp Grayling Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, a training area of 148,000 hectares and over 17,000 square miles of dedicated airspace.
“Northern Strike operates under complex field conditions designed to simulate a realistic war environment,” said US Army Colonel Bart Verbanic, the officer in charge of Northern Strike’s land component, in a press release.
“This tests the ability of the visiting units to effectively cooperate and communicate across coalitions and components,” said Verbanic.
The exercise focuses on joint combined arms live-fire training and close air support, joint fire support, coordinated maneuvers and air mobility including command, control, communication, computer and theater air-to-ground system intelligence in action scenarios.
“What sets Michigan’s NADWC apart from any other training facility is its ability to build readiness capabilities for all warfare functions in a competitive, multi-domain training environment that enables common integration at the level,” said Verbanic.
The Northern Strike exercise was launched in 2012 and has evolved into a scenario-based full-spectrum readiness training in which participants train on land, water, in the air, in space and in cyberspace.
This year’s event includes lectures from military research institutions and industrial partners on the topics of artificial intelligence, software and communications improvements, automated equipment and space operations.