Civilian employers tour Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center

Maj. Harry Stiles, a Michigan National Guard Soldier based at Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing, Michigan, explains day-to-day operations to his civilian employer Justin Neal of BAE Systems on Employer Appreciation Day, Aug. 13, 2016, during Exercise Northern Strike 2016 at Camp Grayling, Michigan. Northern Strike 16 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting approximately 5,000 Army, Air Force, Marine, and Special Forces service members from 20 states and three coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2016 at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, both located in northern Michigan. The exercise strives to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, and the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment. (Michigan National Guard photo by Sgt. Bethany L. Rizor/Released)

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Story written by Sgt. Bethany Rizor. 126th Press Camp.

CAMP GRAYLING JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Mich. — The Michigan National Guard hosted an employer appreciation day during Exercise Northern Strike 2016.

Soldiers of the Michigan National Guard had the opportunity to invite their civilian employer for a tour of the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and Northern Strike 2016 training operations.

Employers were escorted to multiple locations on CGJMTC to include an observation tower over the air-to-ground range, a range that allows simultaneous training for aircraft as well as ground units. They enjoyed an Army authentic Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) for lunch and were then split into three groups to tour the remaining training locations: the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF), the Maneuver and Training Equipment Site (MATES)and the North Forward Operating Base (FOB).

Dinner was provided by the CGJMTC Officer’s Club following the tour.

Among the employers visiting CGJMTC, Justin Neal of BAE Systems travelled 11 hours from York, Pennsylvania, to participate in the tour. Neal was invited by Maj. Harry Stiles, a Michigan National Guard Soldier assigned to Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing.

BAE Systems designs, manufactures, upgrades, and supports tracked, untracked and amphibious combat vehicles. Stiles has worked for BAE Systems for just over a year.

In his short time there he has successfully lead two developmental programs.

Neal explained that the benefit of having a service member like Stiles in his employ gives the company an insight advantage through analysis and understanding of how the Army utilizes the products they manufacture.

BAE Systems manufactures multiple tactical vehicles relevant to Exercise Northern Strike 2016 such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV), M-177 Howitzer and the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV).

“Harry is in charge of making sure that the vehicle is as maintainable as possible,” Neal said.

When asked if he had ever seen the vehicles in action, Neal said, “I have never been to an operating base or training session to see them in action. I really appreciate having the opportunity to come visit and see how the Army operates.”

Northern Strike 16 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting approximately 5,000 Army, Air Force, Marine, and Special Forces service members from 20 states and three coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2016 at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, both located in northern Michigan.

The exercise strives to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, and the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment.

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