US Army Alaska to host Arctic Anvil drills for first time
By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 17, 2016
The Arctic Anvil drills will take place in Alaska for the first time this year, with soldiers arriving in early June and many remaining through August.
The exercise, slated to involve about 8,000 soldiers, also marks the first time U.S. Army Pacific will use its Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability, or JPMRC, a new deployable training system of personnel and equipment, outside of Hawaii.
Arctic Anvil will create a large influx of military convoys and drills along the Richard Highway corridor, a roughly 100-mile stretch from Delta Junction to Fairbanks in the north. Training will take place near Fort Wainwright, Delta Junction and Fort Greely.
The drills, which will test U.S. Army Alaska’s ability to receive and redeploy a large number of troops, will also prepare the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division for its National Training Center rotation at Fort Irwin, Calif., early next year, the Army said.
Arctic Anvil’s scenario, equipment and technical expertise will be provided by the 196th Infantry Brigade’s JPMRC, with additional support from the Iowa National Guard, the Army said.
JPMRC is an integrated system of deployable shelters, software and hardware that links the battle space with off-site observers. The software collects and stores information about soldiers’ performance. It’s then used for feedback, either post-exercise or in real time in some instances.
Arctic Anvil will test JPMRC’s expeditionary capability for the first time.
In 2013, Gen. Vincent Brooks, then commander of U.S. Army Pacific, launched the system in Hawaii to increase readiness while soldiers remained at their home station, rather than send them to the National Training Center or to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.
During the exercise, the Iowa National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment will pose as enemy forces, host-nation security forces and battlefield civilians.
A unit from the Canadian Army’s 1 Canadian Mounted Brigade Group is also expected to participate in the exercise.