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Northern Strike an important military exercise

Northern Michigan extends a warm welcome to visitors participating in Exercise Northern Strike at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center.

Nearly 5,000 guests will be in northern Michigan over the next two weeks participating in this important training exercise that involves Army, Air Force, Marine and Special Forces soldiers.

Units from 20 states will be represented in the training, as well as units from three coalition countries.

Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnasis of the Michigan National Guard said “The exercise strives to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, and the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment.”

Vadnasis credits the success of last year’s exercise — which incorporates both the Alpena CRTC and Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center — as the reason for the military to continue this important training.

He said Northern Strike 2016 was the nation’s largest multinational life fire exercise, and it was “important to have cohesion between all branches of the United States military.

“This is the greatest way to showcase our performance at a real-time pace.”

The exercise begins today and will continue through Aug. 12.