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Northern Strike will return in July

Courtesy Photo Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment of the Oklahoma National Guard, Sand Springs, Okla., practice live-fire drills at the Camp Grayling Aerial Gunnery Range in Grayling on July 23.

ALPENA — Northern Strike is coming back to Alpena, despite a few changes necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Usually bringing 6,000 to 7,000 National Guard and other military members to northern Michigan, the training exercises — held at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and Camp Grayling since 2012 — expect about 2,300 participants this year, with social distancing and other safety restrictions in place.

The event will be held July 19 to 31.

More than 1,100 National Guard members were activated to support COVID-19 suppression measures around the state. None tested positive as a result of their work, according to the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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