Capt. Doreia Rogers
Michigan National Guard
GRAYLING, Mich. -- At Northern Strike (NS), on July 22, 2020, the Illinois National Guard, 1544th Transportation Company (TC) conducted Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) training at Camp Grayling, Michigan, a part of Michigan’s National All Domain Warfighting Center.NS is designed to train ARNG and ANG units on joint live fire proficiency at the company/troop level and multi-compo units from battalion to division level on joint fire integration.Replicating future operating environments, the C-IED training goals were to provide Soldiers with the knowledge and skills to effectively respond to IED threats and other explosive devices they may encounter on the battlefield.“Camp Grayling provided realistic IED training and a hands-on opportunity that junior Soldiers can apply to their Warrior skills tasks, said (a 15 year, Illinois National Guardsmen), SSG Michael Holmes, 3rd squad leader for 1st platoon of the Paris unit.SSG Ethan Cochran, (a 10 year, Illinois National Guardsmen), team leader for 1st squad for 2nd platoon of the Danville detachment, agreed with SSG Holmes but added, “the instructors were knowledgeable and encouraged our senior E-4’s to take the lead.”SGT Stephen Key, (an 11 year, Illinois National Guardsmen), 2nd squad leader for 2nd platoon of the Danville detachment, said his best experience at Camp Grayling has been the hands-on IED training exercises.SSG Decker, (a 21 year, Illinois National Guardsmen), 3rd squad leader for 2nd platoon of the Danville detachment, closed with “the best aspect of being in the Illinois National Guard is learning from other people and being able to pass that knowledge on to younger Soldiers. I think that makes us all better as people and Soldiers, especially with the situation we are in right now with Covid-19. It forces us to learn and build off each other and come together and train as one. Camp Grayling’s C-IED training provided an awesome set-up, with a great deal of resources for us to display the skills we have learned and the opportunity to pick-up a few new ones too.”Northern Strike is the premier exercise to train joint fires integration. It is a tailorable, scalable, and cost-effective readiness producer. Northern Strike fuses Michigan’s unique capabilities to maximize unit readiness through the National All Domain Warfighting Center.