US forces come together in Alaska for Northern Edge 2019
Approximately 10,000 U.S. troops are at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and around Alaska this month for Northern Edge 2019 (NE19), a training exercise hosted by U.S. Pacific Air Forces. It’s aimed at preparing joint forces to respond to crises in the Indo-Pacific.
"Specifically, it's to hone the combat skills of our Naval, Marine and Air Force aviators and ground personnel to be able to respond to a crisis," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Daniel Heires, one of the people overseeing the operation at JBER.
About 250 aircraft from all services plus five Navy ships will participate in exercises on and above central Alaska ranges and the Gulf of Alaska.
"We're committed to participating in the exercise, continuing to work on our skills to operate in an Arctic environment,” said Navy Cmdr. Scott Nietzel. “Opportunities afforded to train in Alaska with the facilities, both at the range complex on the shore and over the Gulf of Alaska, is unlike any place else on Earth,".
For the first time in 10 years, Northern Edge will feature a Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier.
"The more we're ready as a joint force, ready to respond to a crisis, the less likely our resolve will be tested," said Heires.
NE19 happens May 13-24.
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