web analytics

Categorized | Featured, News

Northern Strike 2015 concludes 

A Joint Terminal Attack Controller assigned to the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, Tactical Air Control Party, Syracuse, N.Y., observes the field before calling in close air support during a combined live fire exercise as part of Northern Strike 15, July 20, 2015. NS 15 is an annual training exercise on CGJMTC that assesses joint air-to-ground capability and involves hundreds of military personnel from 20 different states, as well as Canada, Latvia, Poland and Australia. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Seth LaCount/Released)

A Joint Terminal Attack Controller assigned to the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, Tactical Air Control Party, Syracuse, N.Y., observes the field before calling in close air support during a combined live fire exercise as part of Northern Strike 15, July 20, 2015. NS 15 is an annual training exercise on CGJMTC that assesses joint air-to-ground capability and involves hundreds of military personnel from 20 different states, as well as Canada, Latvia, Poland and Australia. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Seth LaCount/Released)

A UH-60 Black Hawk transports 125th Infantry Regiment A Company Detroit, Michigan on a training mission on July 23, 2015 during Exercise Northern Strike 2015 at Grayling Air Gunnery Range in Grayling, Michigan. Exercise Northern Strike 2015 is a joint multi-national combined arms training exercise conducted in Michigan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson/released)

A UH-60 Black Hawk transports 125th Infantry Regiment A Company Detroit, Michigan on a training mission on July 23, 2015 during Exercise Northern Strike 2015 at Grayling Air Gunnery Range in Grayling, Michigan. Exercise Northern Strike 2015 is a joint multi-national combined arms training exercise conducted in Michigan. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson/released)

Record setting combat exercise sets stage for Northern Strike 2016 

Exercise Northern Strike 15, a major combat training exercise that brings ground and air combat units from four coalition countries and more than 20 states to training locations in Grayling, Alpena and Rogers City came to a close last weekend with a number of milestones achieved during the exercise which ran from July 13 to August 1.

Lt. Col. Matt Trumble, director of the exercise, identified some of the specific achievements for this year. “We had more out of state and out of country participants this year than we’ve ever had,” said Trumble. “2015 also saw the largest number of aircraft supporting the exercise, both types of aircraft and raw number of sorties flown.”

Northern Strike served as the primary combat training exercise for most members of the Michigan National Guard. The base scenario involved alerting a unit and having the soldiers report to the armory for equipment upload and movement to Alpena via C-130 Hercules, a military transport airplane. From Alpena the Soldiers would be transported via helicopter to Camp Grayling to assault an objective.

It was during this assault phase of the training where the complexity of the exercise was highlighted by all the combat capabilities working together. Mortars and artillery would initiate the attack from kilometers away as aerial platforms like the A-10 Thunderbolt “Warthog” and AH-64 Apache helicopters would come in immediately after and target the objective with 30 mm canon rounds, 2.75 inch rockets and 500 pound bombs.

“Seeing everything together at one time on one objective was amazing,” said 2nd Lt. Randy Jozwiak, a platoon leader in Bravo Troop, 126 Cavalry, experiencing his first Northern Strike exercise. “Experiencing the exercise up and close and personal makes you acutely aware of America’s ability to put anyone wishing us ill will in the hurt locker in no time,” Jozwiak concluded.

“This year’s exercise has exceeded every expectation I had coming in”, said Maj. Justin Bierens, of the Michigan Guard’s 63rd Troop Command and senior member of the Northern Strike 15 planning staff. “We have demonstrated the ability to coordinate from theater level assets down to the platoons on the ground. I come into every Northern Strike expecting an improvement from the previous year, this year feels like we have advanced five years since last year.”

Planning has already begun for Northern Strike 2016, scheduled to take place from August 1-20 on Camp Grayling, Alpena CRTC and Rogers City.

“In addition to exceeding the metrics achieved this year,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Connelly, deputy operations officer for the Michigan Guard, “we are planning to conduct night operations, which represents the pinnacle of training challenge.”

This post was written by:

- who has written 18361 posts on Cedar Springs Post Newspaper.


Contact the author

Comments are closed.

advert
Intandem Credit Union
Ray Winnie

Archives

Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!