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Dozens of soldiers descending on Northern Michigan for winter combat drills

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Winter Strike 7

U.S. Army Capt. Charles Auer from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 238th General Support Aviation, Peoria, Ill., begins the checklist before a night mission on CH-47 “Chinook” during Winter Strike 21 at Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Mich., Jan 28, 2021. Winter Strike 21 is a cold-weather readiness event held as part of the Northern Strike exercise series that offers the Michigan National Guard’s unparalleled facilities as a venue for U.S. and coalition forces to receive advanced All-Domain joint fires training in all weather conditions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson)

NORTHERN MICHIGAN (WJRT) - Dozens of soldiers from across the United States are coming to Northern Michigan next week for a series of winter combat drills. 

The Michigan National Guard is hosting Winter Strike on Jan. 21 to 30 at Camp Grayling and the Alpena Combat Readiness Center. Those bases comprise the National All-Domain Warfighting Center.

The weather and climate during the coldest part of winter in Northern Michigan allows troops to train on competencies required in harsh arctic conditions.

“Being able to operate in cold weather is a critical skill for any warfighter to possess,” said Lt. Col. Adam Jenzen, Northern Strike land component exercise director. “The winter iterations of Northern Strike provide the perfect opportunity for units to complete arctic training objectives without the time and money required to travel to more remote locations like Alaska.”

The Michigan National Guard has hosted a summer Northern Strike exercise with troops from across the country for nine years. This will be the third Winter Strike drill.

“Michigan has some of the best military training facilities in the country, which makes it the perfect place for visiting units and defense industry partners to work together in a complex, all-domain environment,” said Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Both annual combat training missions are a boon to the Northern Michigan economy. They bring about $30 million to the region in the form of wages, travel and other local spending.

“Everything we do at Northern Strike would not be possible without the support we receive from the local community,” said Jenzen. “Northern Michigan is truly one of the most military-friendly communities in the country. Protecting them and our nation is why we train as hard as we do.”

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