LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn recently joined Michigan National Guard commander Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais and numerous state and foreign officials to observe the Northern Strike 2017 exercise at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center.
“The Northern Strike exercise provided a close-up view of our military’s ability to work side by side with our international partners throughout the world,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I had the privilege to meet officers from Poland, Great Britain, Canada, Latvia and Nigeria who all praised the outstanding training facilities at Camp Grayling, which is the largest National Guard training center in the country.”
Military units from six counties joined approximately 5,000 Air Force, Army, Marines, Special Forces and National Guard units from 15 states for the exercise. The annual exercise ran from July 29 to Aug. 12.
“The mission of the joint maneuvers is to provide ground, air and amphibious training for all branches of the U.S. armed forces, so that our troops will have necessary skills to operate and survive in hostile environments,” Zorn said. “From planning to execution, the multinational live-fire exercise reinforced my confidence that our servicemen and servicewomen are strong and well-prepared to protect our freedoms and maintain peace in the world.”
Zorn said one item that makes Camp Grayling so effective for this type of exercise is a mock village, called the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility. It is made up of more than two dozen buildings found in most communities, such as homes, churches, a store, a school, a courthouse and a fire station. It also has a mock embassy and each room has cameras to record the training exercises for evaluation by military leaders.