CAMP GRAYLING, Mich. – Northern Strike 23-1, this year’s winter exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard, is scheduled across Northern Michigan’s National All-Domain Warfighting Center Jan. 20-29. NS 23-1 is part of the semi-annual exercise series, which includes NS 23-2 in August.
“For a decade, Northern Strike has helped our nation’s reserve component forces build readiness as a lethal fighting force,” said Lt. Col. John Keelean, director of exercises and training. “This marks the fourth cold-weather iteration of this event, and as our national defense strategy changes, so does the exercise.”
NS is a tailorable, scalable, cost-effective Army National Guard-sponsored exercise to increase readiness. Approximately 600 participants will brave the near-arctic conditions while training to meet the objectives of the Department of Defense’s Arctic strategy.
“Wind, snow, and single-digit temperatures force units to adapt and overcome conditions they could potentially face against a near-peer threat,” said Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “In years past, temperatures at Camp Grayling have actually been colder than Alaska, so this exercise serves as one of the best opportunities for units to train in some of the most challenging conditions they could ever face.”
The NADWC, which includes Camp Grayling and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, offers a cost-effective way for units across the DOD (particularly reserve components) to experience cold-weather, joint all-domain operations. The ability to easily transport people and equipment to Camp Grayling via rail and road helps units save time, money and training days. Air component units can fly to Alpena CRTC without leaving U.S. airspace.
Participating units will include the 120th Field Artillery Regiment, Wisconsin National Guard; the 1432nd Engineer Company, Michigan National Guard; and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115, Marine Corps Air Station in Buford, South Carolina, among others.
The cold-weather equipment pool offered at Camp Grayling is a new factor in this year’s exercise. Visiting units can draw from skis, snowmobiles and snowshoes to meet their training objectives.
“By offering the cold-weather equipment, our Camp Grayling partners have made the exercise even more tailorable,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Palmatier, Northern Strike senior enlisted advisor. “Having equipment pre-positioned here reduces logistical concerns for units so they can focus on their warfighting tasks. Our goal is to provide rotational training units with the tools to become more effective warfighters, ready to meet the ever-evolving demands of today’s security environment.”