More Military Exercises in Kodiak This Month


Maggie Wall/KMXT

Kodiak will play a role in a major military exercise designed to make sure U.S. forces are able to work together in the event of a national emergency.

Named "Northern Edge 2011," the exercise is scheduled to take place June 13 to 24. It is described as Alaska’s premier joint training exercise, and includes 9,000 participants from all the services.

Lt. Col. Mike Cabral is the lead planner for Northern Edge. He works out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Fort Richardson in Anchorage.

(Northern Edge 1 :06 sec "The goal of…Alaska Pacific region.")

Northern Edge is the most recent in a long line of similar training exercises in Alaska which stretch back decades to the first, Jack Frost ‘75. This year, the Coast Guard will have an enhanced role:

(Northern Edge 2 :31 "We’re pretty excited…some great training out of it.")

In addition, the base will host the Marine Air Control Squadron One – known as MACS-1 – which will set up operations at Jewel Beach near the Tsunami Lanes Bowling Alley. The Coast Guard, as well as Cabral, have said there is no danger presented by the MACS-1’s mobile radars:

(Northern Edge 3 :33 "It’s an air control…in the Gulf of Alaska.’)

A key part of the exercise is making sure everyone can work smoothly with everyone else – not an easy task given the number of services, the number of people and the variety of equipment involved. But since the goal is to find the glitches in the system complications could be seen as a positive thing:

(Northern Edge 4 :46 "We are practicing…much more successful.")

Besides the Coast Guard, Northern Edge participants include a wide spectrum of military – the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines – active duty, reserve, as well as National Guard units.


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