US-led joint military training exercise Northern Edge 2019 (NE19) has concluded in Alaska, with more than 10,000 military personnel involved.
Northern Edge is Alaska’s largest biannual joint-military training exercise. This latest event saw the participation of a Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier for the first time in ten years.
NE19 began on 13 May and was conducted to prepare joint forces to respond to crises in the Indo-Pacific region.
The training exercise also included the navy’s aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and select ships from Carrier Strike Group Nine (CSG-9), as well as 250 aircraft from the US Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy.
Hosted by US Pacific Air Forces, NE19 involved more than 60,000 miles of airspace throughout Alaska.
Destroyer Squadron 23 commodore captain David Fowler said: “We, as a navy, need to get acclimated to these regions and work in a joint environment to gain a better appreciation for what our sister services do and what they bring to the table, because should we ever need to truly defend our nation against adversaries, it is going to take all of us working together to achieve that objective.”
During the exercise, Theodore Roosevelt personnel and Carrier Air Wing 11 (CVW-11) worked on honing their skills and practised operations and techniques.
In addition, CSG-9 had the opportunity to boost relationships with other US military branches.
CSG-9 commander rear admiral Daniel Dwyer said: “Northern Edge was special because it took the Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group away from our home waters into an operating area we’re not used to exercising in.
“The training we received in the Gulf of Alaska will make our strike group a more capable, ready, and lethal naval force.”
For the US Navy, the exercise proved the ability of CVN 71 to operate in the Indo-Pacific region and perform operations around the world.
Personnel from various military branches operated as an integrated taskforce in the exercise to enhance multi-service integration.
Such exercises help maintain the US commitment to ensuring the Arctic remains conflict-free, Dwyer added.