Northern Strike 20 descends on Alpena & Grayling in July

More than 2,300 personnel are expected to participate in Northern Strike 20, the Department of Defense’s largest annual joint, reserve component readiness training event, held at military bases in Alpena and Grayling.

That’s down considerably from the average 6,000 to 7,000 National Guard members who typically take part in the annual training exercise, to ensure proper considerations for social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Strike 20 will be held July 19-31 within the newly renamed “National All-Domain Warfighting Center,” encompassing Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and Camp Grayling.

Military personnel from Michigan and 11 other states will participate in the training, along with personnel from NATO partner countries Latvia and Lithuania.

“Northern Strike is designed to challenge training audiences with multiple forms of convergence that advance interoperability across multicomponent, multinational, and interagency partners,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The exercise also presents a premier opportunity for Army Futures and Defense Industry partners to test emerging technologies for the future warfight.”

In addition to building overall readiness for troops, officials say Northern Strike pumps an average of $30 million into the Alpena and Grayling economies through military pay, travel, and local spending.