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A CH-47 Chinook helicopter from 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, Colorado Army National Guard, conducts a movement from the Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Mich. to Camp Grayling Aug. 10, 2018, during Northern Strike 18.
A CH-47 Chinook helicopter from 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, Colorado Army National Guard, conducts a movement from the Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Mich. to Camp Grayling Aug. 10, 2018, during Northern Strike 18. (Warren Wright/U.S. Army National Guard)

(Tribune News Service) — One of the nation’s largest military training exercises will be taking place in northern Michigan later this month.

Northern Strike is the Department of Defense’s largest reserve component readiness exercises. The exercises imitate wartime scenario-based readiness training, and gives participants the opportunity to complete mission tasks.

This year’s event will take place at the National All-Domain Warfighting Center (NADWC) in Northern Michigan starting July 31 to August 14.

The NADWC includes the Camp Grayling Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. The training area has 148,000 acres of maneuver space and more than 17,000 square miles of special-use airspace.

The military training exercises will focus on joint combined arms live-fire training, close air support, joint fire support, coordinated maneuver with fires and air mobility. Army components, Marine and Navy components and the Air Force will be featured. Units from the United Kingdom, Latvia and Liberia are expected at the exercises.

“This exercise serves as a great opportunity for our multicomponent, multinational, and interagency partners to develop into efficient, joint warfighters. Training like we may be called on to fight is critical in preparing to confront a near-peer adversary in the future,” U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said.

The Michigan National Guard started Northern Strike in 2012, gaining more participants every year. It is estimated that 5,100 participants from across the country will attend this year’s exercises.

Social distancing and masking for non vaccinated participants will be encouraged. There will also be COVID-19 testing.

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