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Michigan National Guard Holds Northern Exposure Training Exercise
April 13, 2022
LANSING, Mich. — In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Michigan National Guard (MING) is currently participating in exercise Northern Exposure which is bringing together a record 12 counties to train and prepare MING forces for potential natural disasters and domestic response scenarios. The training began on April 11 and runs through April 14 and includes Delta, Chippewa, Mackinac, Marquette, Alger, Dickinson, Iron, Ontonagon, Gogebic and Schoolcraft counties.
“Northern Exposure is an annual exercise designed to train Michigan National Guard Soldiers in domestic response operations while enhancing interagency and intergovernmental partnerships,” said Col. Robert Frazer, director of training and exercises, Michigan National Guard. “This year’s training event is in collaboration with the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division’s annual exercise and includes a variety of situational training exercises and tabletop events. The exercise provides realistic, constructive and simulated operating environments for the training audience while working with our local, county, state and federal partners.”
During the four-day training event, many of the events will be hosted by commercial and federal partners such as U.S. Forestry Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Each training event will simulate the process of recalling and responding to a disaster or force protection need,” said Lt. Col. Mark Gorzynski, director of domestic operations, Michigan Army National Guard. “The exercise gives Michigan National Guard Soldiers an opportunity to train with subject matter experts from both the public and private sectors that include incident commanders, first responders and emergency managers. This training will improve interagency cooperation and facilitate a better understanding of each organization’s capabilities.”
The training is to allow opportunities for process improvement and developing interagency data-sharing agreements, policies, procedures and standards to improve services to Michigan’s veterans.
“Exercises like this are incredibly important. They help prepare our teams for what may come, but they also offer an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and understanding between agencies,” said Captain Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. “This type of training ensures we’re always ready to respond and keep Michigan and its people safe.”
“This allows participants to identify potential hurdles while working towards a common solution and ensures the Michigan National Guard units assigned to the civil support mission are trained and ready to support civil authorities within expected deployment timelines,” said Gorzynski.
Northern Exposure is held annually in different Michigan counties. Previous exercises have included floods, fires, civil disturbance, explosions and chemical spills.