An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | May 5, 2017

Northern Edge 17 Kicks Off in Interior Alaska

By Sgt. Laura Gauna III Marine Expeditionary Force

EILESON AFB, Alaska -- Approximately 6,000 military members gathered together to take on the most challenging scenarios in the Pacific theater during Exercise Northern Edge 17 (NE17), at the Gulf of Alaska and around central Alaska ranges from May 1-12, 2017.

NE17, a biennial Pacific Command contingency exercise, prepares joint U.S. forces to respond to crises in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. It is designed to sharpen participants’ tactical combat skills, improve command, control and communication relationships, and to develop interoperable plans and programs across the armed forces.

“Exercises like Northern Edge allow us to work together, talk together and fight together and it’s important to do so because that’s how we are going to deploy. No service can do it on their own,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stephen D. Driskill, the chief of staff at the Joint Electromagnetic Preparedness for Advanced Combat, U.S. Strategic Command. “We are able to gain different advantages and strengths from all the different services here; to make sure that we, as a department of defense, are able to get the best capabilities possible.”

Nearly 200 aircraft are participating, to include the F-35B Lightning II, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16C Fighting Falcon, FA-18D Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, KC-135 Stratotanker, and the KC-10 Extender aircraft.

"We are constantly trying to decide what our different actors around the region are using and how we can simulate how they use those evolving technologies,” said U.S. Air Force Col. David Mineau, the 354th Fighter Wing commander. “We want to provide them with the most challenging scenario that they could face so that when they do our nation’s business they come home safely when the crisis is over.”

Virtual forces also play a large role in the exercise. Operating from simulators in various bases throughout the nation, live, virtual and constructive (LVC) participants aim to enhance the quality of training for service members across Alaska.

“We are very proud of what the 354th fighter wing has done to improve our ability to fuse live training, virtual training and constructive training all together into one live-virtual battlespace that provides increased realism and complexity for everyone involved,” said Mineau. “It’s all about providing more people with more effective and more integrated training than we can do otherwise in just the live domain.”

Aside from the sheer number of people and aircraft, the terrain also provides unique training advantages. The military training ranges in Alaska are collectively known as the JPARC, or Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. It includes 65,000 square miles of airspace, nearly 2,500 square miles of land space and 42,000 square nautical miles of surface, subsurface and overlying airspace in the Gulf of Alaska.

“Alaska provides a great training opportunity because of the training ranges that are here. We get some world class training that we really can’t replicate anywhere else in the United States,” said Driskill. “The amount of range and space and the setup and the support capabilities that we have here really all combine together to make the best training opportunity to really prepare ourselves for the type of fight that we may find in a near peer-environment or in different types of environments all around the world.”

The interoperability aspect of the training makes the exercise a valuable asset to maintaining readiness in the Pacific.

“Northern Edge gives us the opportunity to really practice the tactics, techniques and procedures that we would need in order to fight in such a vast Pacific Ocean theater,” said Driskill. “Some of the potential adversaries that are in the Pacific realm have some very capable systems. Being able to train against them really provides a high level of training for us make sure we are ready to fight tonight, wherever we need to go.”

Editors note: During the exercise, III Marine Expeditionary Force Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 are serving as part of the joint task force practicing tasks associated with joint operations.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
X
363,574
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Joint Readout on the Inaugural U.S.-Philippines 3+3 Meeting
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 12, 2024 - The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Philippines on the occasion of the inaugural U.S.-Philippines 3+3 Meeting...

Japan, Republic of Korea, U.S. Navies Partner in Trilateral Maritime Exercise
AT SEA (April 11, 2024) Ships assigned to the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Republic of Korea Navy with aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 sail in formation during a trilateral exercise, April 11, 2024. This trilateral exercise allowed maritime forces from Japan, the Republic of Korea, and U.S. to train together to enhance coordination on maritime domain awareness and other shared security interests. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tommy Gooley)
April 12, 2024 - The U.S. Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), conducted a trilateral maritime exercise, reaffirming their commitment to bolstering regional security and stability in the...

1st Marine Division Deploys to Philippines for Marine Exercise 2024
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - Marines from the Philippine Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps will conduct the second iteration of the Philippine Marine Exercise from April 8-19, 2024, at Camp Iranun, Mindanao, Philippines...

PACAF team unveils innovative resilient energy source to enhance Agile Combat Employment
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - A dynamic team of Air Force personnel stationed in the Indo-Pacific region unveiled an innovative solution known as Rays to Jet Power at the Logistics Officer Association symposium in St. Louis, Missouri, March 27...

Joint Press Statement for the 24th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 11, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of National Defense (MND) held the 24th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) on April 11, 2024 in Washington...