LANSING, Mich. –
On the battlefield, securing any advantage over your opponent can mean the difference between life and death. Every detail of a mission needs to be considered in order for a military maneuver to find success against a near peer adversary, and at Northern Strike 22 taking place at Camp Grayling from Aug. 6 to Aug. 19 in Grayling, Michigan, military units from all over the country are putting in the work needed today, so they can find success when called upon for whatever the future holds.
From missions that haven’t been conceived yet, to units like the Ohio Army National Guard 1-134th Artillery Regiment, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (37th IBCT) preparing to deploy a few months from now, Camp Grayling and Northern Strike 22 provide the perfect opportunity to complete final preparations on multiple levels.
“There’s not many chances we get to go through a major training exercise like this,” said Maj. Theodore Sowder, commander of Alpha Battery, 1-134th Field Artillery Regiment, 37th IBCT. “And to have a place like Camp Grayling that we can train on, as we increase our operational tempo for our upcoming deployment, it really is instrumental.”
From the tactical level of a squad to the strategic level of a command, Northern Strike 22 puts the focus on interaction, planning, and decision-making, allowing units to practice their core mission of maneuvering across a battlefield in order to fight any future battle.
Training in the joint, multicomponent, multinational environment that Northern Strike 22 provides, allows infantry brigade combat teams the ability to ensure they can fight and win when the time comes, and the troops on the ground can see the difference.
“Here at Northern Strike we’re coordinating a lot more with artillery, with air assets, etc.” said Cpl. Michael Markley, assigned to the Michigan Army National Guard 125th Infantry Regiment, “If all these different echelons don’t work well together like we’re able to here at Northern Strike, it’ll cause problems down range that we simply cannot have in the real world.”
From combat teams, to logistics and planning, Northern Strike 22 is designed to challenge approximately 8,000 service members from all areas of the military with training that advances interoperability and stresses interaction between the different units involved.
“Northern Strike really has no limit for us.” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andrew Carter, assigned to the Marine Corps Reserves Combat Logistics Regiment 4 Personnel Recovery and Processing Company (-). “We can go as basic as we need to do, or integrate with the other units taking part and work through the problems that present themselves in logistics, planning, carrying out the mission, and working with people you’ve never worked with before as Northern Strike 22 is going on, it’s absolutely invaluable.”
Such invaluable training like this can be quite the undertaking from a variety of different perspectives. With so many different groups working together, unforeseen difficulties that may not come up at all in a smaller sized exercise can be addressed just as they would be handled in a real world environment. Without such training, fighting our nation’s battles may become a struggle, but at Exercise Northern Strike 22 and the Joint Maneuver Training Center at Camp Grayling, Michigan, practice truly does make perfect.