JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- More than 100 Airmen and eight F-16 Fighting Falcons, from the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing, deployed to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in early March to take part in Exercise ARCTIC EDGE 2022.
First taking place in 2018, ARCTIC EDGE is a routine U.S. Northern Command exercise scheduled every two years. This exercise is specifically designed to provide realistic and effective training for participants using the premier training locations available throughout Alaska, ensuring the ability to rapidly deploy and operate in the Arctic.
“You have to take into account the mountainous terrain,” said Maj. Jacob Laginess, an F-16 fighter pilot assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing, when asked what makes training in Alaska different than Ohio. “The weather can get colder here, so that is more of a concern, especially the farther north you go. It’s not quite like home.”
As a multi-national, multi-service exercise, ARCTIC EDGE also provides Airmen with the opportunity to work closely with other units and in a joint environment.
“It’s always awesome to come to a place like this,” said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Close, maintenance lead for the 180FW during AE22, “To work with multiple services, Navy, Marines, and other Air Force entities, putting our unit on display, showcasing our talents and what we bring as the Guard and as the 180FW. That’s huge for us.”
During the three week exercise, ARCTIC EDGE will have approximately 1,000 participants, including U.S. and Canadian service members, U.S. Coast Guardsmen, and government employees from the U.S. Department of Defense and Canada’s Department of National Defence.