U.S. Military Alaska started a brand new annual fight coaching train Monday on ranges round Fort Greely.
The 11-day coaching train referred to as Arctic Warrior primarily entails the 4th Infantry Brigade Fight Group Airborne out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. It’ll be supported by Air Drive personnel and plane primarily based at JBER, and models from Fort Wainwright and the Canadian Air Drive.
“We’ll have most likely greater than 1,200 troopers, all informed, between the road models – the infantry, the artillery, and all of the assist models which have to return in to again these guys up,” U.S. Military Alaska spokesman John Pennell mentioned Friday.
Pennell mentioned the train will give troopers an opportunity to coach in chilly climate and take a look at their readiness, and their gear, to function in excessive chilly.
“It’s a must to be specifically skilled to take care of the chilly and all the pieces that comes with it,” he mentioned.
That is the primary Arctic Warrior train. Pennell mentioned the Military has at all times performed smaller-scale winter coaching in Alaska, however nothing as large as Arctic Warrior, nor Northern Edge, the larger biennial train performed by the Alaskan Command, which additionally relies at JBER.
“We plan on doing it yearly any further, at all times as a winter train, and hopefully rising in scale,” he mentioned.
Pennell mentioned Arctic Warrior displays the Military’s renewed emphasis on working at excessive latitudes, after 20 years of primarily specializing in combating terrorists elsewhere on the planet.
“With the worldwide conflict on terror, the Military type of shifted our focus away from the Arctic, and extra into being ready to rotate forces into Iraq or Afghanistan, or wherever they’re wanted,” he mentioned. “And so, a few of our Arctic coaching has atrophied.”
Pennell mentioned larger readiness is required due to Alaska’s strategic location, which permits the U.S. navy to undertaking energy globally. And there’s extra exercise within the Arctic area now that it’s extra accessible since local weather change has sharply decreased sea ice and opened up transport lanes.
“With the warming Arctic, we’re seeing much more visitors within the waters off Alaska,” he mentioned. “We’re seeing all of the Arctic nations at the moment are having to rethink defending their northern border.”
Pennell mentioned preparations for this 12 months’s train consists of preparation for a special type of adversary – the coronavirus. He mentioned COVID-19 precautions embrace frequent testing and sustaining separation between models as a lot as attainable.