10 Michigan Counties Participating in National Guard ‘Northern Exposure’ Training Exercise

Ten counties in the Upper Peninsula are participating in the Michigan National Guard’s Northern Exposure training exercise, a training that allows opportunities for process improvement and developing interagency data-sharing agreements, policies, procedures and standards to better services for veterans.

Delta, Chippewa, Mackinac, Marquette, Alger, Dickinson, Iron, Ontonagon, Gogebic and Schoolcraft Counties began the exercise Monday.

“Northern Exposure is an annual exercise designed to train Michigan National Guard Soldiers in domestic response operations while enhancing interagency and intergovernmental partnerships,” said Col. Robert Frazer, director of training and exercises, Michigan National Guard. “This year’s training event is in collaboration with the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division’s annual exercise and includes a variety of situational training exercises and tabletop events. The exercise provides realistic, constructive and simulated operating environments for the training audience while working with our local, county, state and federal partners.”

The Michigan National Guard says the four-day training is hosted by commercial and federal partners, including the U.S. Forestry Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is held every year in different counties across the state.  They say exercises from previous trainings have included floods, fires, civil disturbance, explosions and chemical spills.

“Exercises like this are incredibly important. They help prepare our teams for what may come, but they also offer an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and understanding between agencies,” said Captain Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. “This type of training ensures we’re always ready to respond and keep Michigan and its people safe.”