Exercise Northern Edge highlights U.S. forces capabilities
About 10,000 U.S. military personnel converged in Alaska in late May 2019 to highlight joint operations and capabilities of U.S. forces.
Northern Edge 2019 (NE19), which took place May 13-24, also aimed to increase public awareness of the high-quality, joint training opportunities available in Alaska and to promote understanding and community support for units participating in NE19.
Northern Edge is one in a series of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercises that prepares joint forces to respond to crises in the Indo-Pacific. The exercise is designed to sharpen participants’ tactical combat skills, improve command, control and communication relationships and develop interoperability plans and programs across the joint force.
“Alaska is a strategic location, and joint operations and exercises here are essential to the nation’s commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” said Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer, commander of Carrier Strike Group 9.
Northern Edge is the largest military training exercise on and above central Alaska ranges and the Gulf of Alaska, with virtual and live participants from all over the United States. The Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex where Soldiers gathered encompasses more than 60,000 miles of airspace throughout Alaska and includes support infrastructure from two Air Force bases.
“We’re going outside of our working area. It’s a little colder than we’re used to, but it’s a good thing,” said Cmdr. Silas Bouyer, operations officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. “We’ve got to be fully operational, not just when it’s sunny in San Diego.”
Personnel from U.S. military units stationed in the continental United States and from U.S. installations in the Indo-Pacific participated with 250 aircraft from all services and five U.S. Navy ships. NE19 marked the first time in 10 years that a Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier has participated. Among the 10,000 military personnel were active duty, reservists, the National Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
(Pictured: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Isaac Pezqueda, a landing support specialist with Combat Logistics Battalion 7, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 7, communicates a target’s location to his partner during a live-fire training event, part of exercise Northern Edge 2019.)