Northern Strike 22-1 brings arctic training to Michigan

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tristan Viglianco
  • Michigan National Guard

The Northern Strike 22-1 exercise will unite service members from several states and partner forces Jan. 21-30 at Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, which comprise the National All-Domain Warfighting Center.

“We are excited to kick off the year with the winter iteration of Northern Strike,” said Lt. Col. Adam Jenzen, Northern Strike land component exercise director. “Over the past nine years, the Northern Strike exercise series has grown into one of our nation’s best reserve component exercises. This is the third year for Northern Strike’s winter iteration, and we are continuing to evolve by further integrating special operations forces alongside our conventional and multinational forces.”

VIDEO | 02:01 | Northern Strike 21-2 highlights the capabilities of Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, and the Michigan National Guard, as well as many of the states and international partners who participated. Northern Strike is a joint service, multicomponent, multinational readiness building exercise that allows units to complete training requirements in a condensed two-week period. (U.S. Air National Guard video by Staff Sgt. Jacob Cessna)

The Northern Strike exercise series, sponsored by the National Guard Bureau, provides a venue for units to maximize training. The summer iteration of Northern Strike is in August.

“Michigan has some of the best military training facilities in the country, which makes it the perfect place for visiting units and defense industry partners to work together in a complex, all-domain environment,” said Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Northern Strike is one of the reasons our state is receiving national recognition as an innovator in the future of warfighting.”

“Winter Strike” is held annually in northern Michigan during the coldest part of the year, so visiting units can train in subarctic conditions. Snow, high winds and single-digit temperatures are commonplace at the NADWC this time of year.

Winter Strike is a cost-effective way for units across the Department of Defense (and reserve components in particular) to experience cold-weather joint all-domain operations. The ability to easily transport people and equipment via rail and roadway helps units save time, money and training days. Air component units can fly to Alpena CRTC without leaving U.S. airspace.

“Being able to operate in cold weather is a critical skill for any warfighter to possess,” Jenzen said. “The winter iterations of Northern Strike provide the perfect opportunity for units to complete arctic training objectives without the time and money required to travel to more remote locations like Alaska.”

In addition to enhancing defense capabilities, the exercise series brings an average of $30 million to Michigan’s economy annually in military pay, travel and spending in northern lower Michigan.

“Everything we do at Northern Strike would not be possible without the support we receive from the local community,” Jenzen said. “Northern Michigan is truly one of the most military-friendly communities in the country. Protecting them and our nation is why we train as hard as we do.”