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Winter Strike Again Underway in Northern Michigan

Winter Strike Artillery

While “Winter Strike” is toned down from the training they do during “Northern Strike” in the Summer, soldiers and pilots are being prepared for many situations they might run into in the field.

“Our main focus is to build readiness with our units inside the department of defense and our partner nations,” said Maj. Nick Anderson. “So we just build readiness and make our service members in our units better.”

There’s a big difference when it comes to how Northern Strike training and Winter Strike training.

The snow and cold temperatures can change how soldiers act in almost any given situation.

“A lot of our service members have not trained in an environment like this for a long time, but it hones skills, builds readiness, and just makes our service members that much better,” said Maj. Anderson.

Throughout the nine days of training comes artillery firing, planes and helicopters going on runs, as well as other drills.

“We have an artillery unit, triple seven towed cannon, that are working with forward observers, integrating fires with air force that’s above, some bombers have come in over the week,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Palmatier.

Soldiers come from not just Michigan, but other states as well, including: Ohio, Illinois, and even Massachusetts.

Also coming to train is military personnel from Latvia.

“One of our partner nations from the Michigan National Guard State Partnership program so we’ve had a relationship with them since 1993,” said Maj. Anderson. “We send soldiers and airmen to Latvia to train, they send theirs here and it’s just a great partnership.”

Not only are soldiers getting the training they need, but Command Sgt. Maj. Palmatier said Northern Strike also pumps a large amount of money into the local economy.

“From flights to coming into Traverse City, busses that units use to get here, Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, Alpena, flights coming in and out of Alpena and the Gaylord area, people staying in hotels, restaurants,” said Sgt. Maj. Palmatier.

Winter Strike will run until Jan. 30. The summer version, Northern Strike, will take place in August.

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