Va. Airmen take part in joint exercise in Alaska

Senior Airman Greg Oliver, 94th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Crew Chief, 192nd Fighter Wing, conducts a pre-flight checklist during Exercise Northern Edge at JBER, June 15, 2015.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Garcia, 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Senior Airman Greg Oliver, 94th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Crew Chief, 192nd Fighter Wing, conducts a pre-flight checklist during Exercise Northern Edge at JBER, June 15, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Garcia, 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Airmen from the Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Fighter Wing integrated with the 1st Fighter Wing from Joint Base Langley-Eustis June 15-26, 2015, to participate in Exercise Northern Edge 2015 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. The event was Alaska’s premier joint training exercise designed to practice operations, techniques and procedures as well as enhance interoperability among the services.

Hosted by Alaskan Command, Northern Edge brought together approximately 6,000 U.S. Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard units in a joint environment to train for crises response in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The exercise is designed to sharpen tactical combat skills, improve command, control and communication relationships and to develop interoperable plans and programs across the joint force.

“Northern Edge is the premier combat exercise for joint forces … anywhere in the world,” said Col. Charles Corcoran, the 3rd Wing commander and Air Expeditionary Wing commander for Northern Edge 2015. “The objective is to make sure our air combat forces are ready as a joint team and to be able to execute real-world operations anywhere in the Pacific.”

The exercise is an exceptional training opportunity, explained Col. Pat McAtee, commander of the 192nd Operations Group.

“We have quite a few Guardsmen who come out here to participate in Northern Edge as part of the total force,” McAtee said. “It allows them that unique experience to work as part of a large joint force team to do a mission much like we would if we were actually going to combat. This gives us an ability to work with our joint partners in a way we can’t do at home station,” McAtee explained.

The Virginia Guardsmen deployed with the 1st Fighter Wing to Alaska as part of the total force integration that gives them the opportunity to conduct their mission alongside their active duty counterparts.

“Integrating with the 1st Fighter Wing has been a great experience,” said Senior Airman Sheila Smith of the 192nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit. “We work really well together. That means that I come in and get experience from the technicians as well as the active duty guys who do it every day.”

Major participating units this year include U.S. Pacific Command, Alaskan Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pacific Air Forces, Marine Corps Forces Pacific, U.S. Army Pacific, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, Air Force Materiel Command, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command and U.S. Naval Reserve.

View photos of the training on the 192nd Fighter Wing Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.942272512495632.1073741930.111055992283959

Watch a video about Northern Edge 2015 on the 192nd Fighter Wing Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/192DFW/videos/vb.111055992283959/931574700232080/

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Reporting by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Garcia, 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs and Staff Sgt. William Banton, Northern Edge 15 Joint Information Bureau Public Affairs

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