Celebrate the sounds of freedom

Because freedom comes with a cost, those who defend it never rest.

As a result, northern Michigan residents will play host again this month to Northern Strike, a very practical and useful training exercise for various National Guard units, law enforcement agencies, and active military servicemembers from around the world.

Being ever-mindful of coronavirus concerns, this year’s training exercise will be substantially smaller.

While, usually, the training pulls in about 6,000 military members, this year, fewer than half — only 2,300 — will participate.

To ensure social distancing and follow other safe practices related to COVID-19, military personnel opted for the smaller training numbers this summer.

As in years past, the Guard will use facilities at both the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and Camp Grayling. This year’s exercise will take place July 19 to 31.

Guard units from several states — including Maine, California, New York and others — as well as NATO partners Latvia and Lithuania, are expected to participate in Northern Strike in a few weeks.

Activity the end of the month certainly will pick up around here.

And, remember, the sound of the jets overhead is the sound of freedom.



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