Northern Strike demonstration shows communication and coordination
Fri, 07/31/2020 - 3:22pm caleb
Michigan National Guard hosts Community Day at Camp Grayling and Range 40, giving participants a look at air and ground combat training
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Michigan National Guard conducted its annual Exercise Northern Strike training event at Camp Grayling and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center on July 19-31, and military officials held a Community Day in Grayling last Tuesday to show local leaders, media members, and representatives from state government a demonstration from the exercise.
Community Day featured a briefing at Camp Grayling and the training demonstration at Camp Grayling’s Range 40.
The Community Day demonstration featured F-16 and A-10 aircraft, along with simulated live fire ground support, and the event allowed participants to hear some of the verbal teamwork required when combining air support with combat on the ground.
Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II attended the demonstration, along with Michigan legislators and military leaders.
“I was pretty impressed,” Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist said. “It’s my pleasure and honor to spend some time here.”
Gilchrist spoke about the “communication” and the “coordination” displayed during the training.
“This is an example of how we come together,” Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist said. “Camp Grayling is an important institution.”
During the briefing prior to the demonstration, several Camp Grayling leaders and other military officials – including Major General Paul D. Rogers, Michigan National Guard Adjutant General – spoke about a continued effort for teamwork and unity between the different training facilities in Michigan, including Grayling, Selfridge, Alpena, and Battle Creek. Officials said the military is “rebranding” the combination of Camp Grayling and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center as the “newly renamed National All-Domain Warfighting Center.”
Military officials also spoke of the importance of teaming with the communities in which the facilities are located.
“We are a community-based organization. The people in the community have a vested interest in our success,” said Major General Rogers during the briefing.
Rogers called Camp Grayling a “national asset.” He said the state of Michigan offers high quality training due to its terrain, water, and weather.
“Northern Strike is unique because Michigan is unique,” Major General Rogers said.
Military officials said this year’s Exercise Northern Strike was significantly smaller than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it went well.
After the demonstration at Range 40, Rogers said the military has plans for expanding the Grayling Army Airfield. Rogers said the military has hired a firm to perform studies for the facility, and he would like to “expand the runway” at the airfield, which is currently open to both military and civilian traffic.
“We’re looking at what’s possible,” Major General Rogers said.