Military units from the U.S., U.K., Germany, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are meeting in Michigan this month for Exercise Northern Strike. The event’s goal is to maximize the full-spectrum combat readiness of National Guard units through realistic joint-fires training with an emphasis on joint and coalition force cooperation in an adaptable environment.

Exercise Northern Strike is an annual, robust military readiness event with approximately 5,000 participating soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines and, according to the U.S. military, it is one of its largest reserve-component exercises. The Northern Strike live-fire event involves small-arms, mortars, artillery and aerial munitions and simulated-fire exercises. Close-air support is the primary air mission; secondary missions include air interdiction, airlift and airdrop, combat search and rescue, air-to-air refueling and intelligence, and air and ground surveillance and reconnaissance.

Events are hosted at Michigan National Guard facilities including the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC), Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center (JMTC), Grayling Air-to-Ground Range, Carmeuse Calcite Quarry in Rogers City and the former site of K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base.