Exercise Northern Strike Continues Critical Military Training with COVID-19 Precautions
"It adds complexity but it’s important we figure out how to still succeed even with those challenges.”
Men and women of the Armed Services from across the nation are in Northern Michigan for Exercise Northern Strike.
That’s why the coronavirus proved to be a big hurdle that military organizers had to work through to make it happen this year.
“Northern Strike is unique,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affair. “It’s unique because Michigan is unique, Michigan provides a natural asset, it’s an incredible training environment.”
At Camp Grayling, they bring together every branch of the military for this training.
From those in the air, to troops on the ground and those behind some powerful machinery.
“We can train in a realistic military environment that is relevant for any type of threat that Russia or China or any type of opposing force would present to us,” said Maj. Gen. Rogers.
This year things are a little different because of COVID-19. There are fewer soldiers in attendance and each being tested for COVID-19 before they arrive and before they leave.
“Overcoming challenges such as what’s presented with COVID, it adds complexity but it’s important we figure out how to still succeed even with those challenges,” Maj. Gen. Rogers saif.
“Today as we speak we have close to 1,000 members, men and women of Michigan who are serving overseas, serving in war,” Maj. Gen. Rogers said. “Training like this is a very important part for us to build that readiness, to ensure we are ready and prepared in a moment’s notice to answer that call to defend our homeland.”
Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist even attended Tuesday’s exercise.
“I was pretty impressed,” Lt. Gov. Gilchrist said. “I never heard a sound quite like that chain gun on a A-10 before, I don’t think I’m ever going to forget that.”
He says he’s proud Michigan is host to Exercise Northern Strike.
“This is a model, I think for the country, what’s happening at this national asset,” Lt. Gov. Gilchrist said. “You can’t get this anywhere else in the country.”