Michigan National Guard
Story by Senior Airman Tristan Viglianco
CAMP GRAYLING, Mich. -- Working with industry to test, develop and implement new technologies on the battlefield is one of the main ways the National Guard and Department of Defense will meet the requirements laid out in the National Defense Strategy. This emphasis led the Michigan National Guard to hold an industry day during Northern Strike 21-1/”Winter Strike 21” at Camp Grayling.
The event featured various members of Michigan National Guard leadership, military research and testing organizations, and 12 industry partners all with ties to Michigan.
“With the Winter Strike exercise going on this week, we had some industry partners up here. So we reached out to some other partners and put on this event,” said U.S. Army Col. Scott Meyers, Camp Grayling Maneuver Training Center commander. “The intent was to have a discussion focusing on innovation and how we can best get after problems, help them help us from a military perspective, and how we can integrate their companies into the training we are doing.”
Discussions ranged across a variety of issues including space and cyber warfare, cost saving measures, and infrastructure improvement. The capabilities of the northern Michigan’s National All-Domain Warfighting Center (NADWC) were also a focal point of the meeting.
“We have a unique capability to train, experiment, and develop technologies in an environment, which can’t be found anywhere else,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of Michigan’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “What makes Michigan extremely unique is the all-domain testing our facilities offer. This includes the space domain; the electronic warfare and cyber domain; and the land, air and maritime domains.”
The National All-Domain Warfighting Center spans Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula, encompassing the capabilities of the Camp Grayling Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and their combined ranges and airspace. This system of training areas is the premier location to replicate the future operating environment, offering integrated training across all domains.
Through a scheduling process industry partners are able to reserve NADWC infrastructure and testing space where they can test, assess and make adjustments in the field. This increases the effectiveness of the technology and shortens development time.
The collaboration is also of great benefit to the DoD and all the troops who use northern Michigan to train.
“The integration of new technology and developments of industry allows us to get after our threats much faster,” said Col. Meyers. “We can work with up-and-coming companies and industry leaders to develop innovative technology, which will pay dividends down the road. Incorporating industry partners increases the value of our training. When we are able to integrate current technologies into our training and exercises our force capability is stronger for it.”