Exercise Northern Strike begins today


GWINN — Sawyer International Airport is home base this week for a military training exercise.

Military units from around the world are in northern Michigan and the U.P. for Exercise Northern Strike 19.

Steve Schenden, Director of Operations at Sawyer International Airport, says, “Northern Strike is part of a military exercise to really defend our northern border if we ever had to.”

Hosted annually by the Michigan National Guard, the exercise involving about 5,700 military personnel.

The main mission of the event is to ensure that each participant is combat-ready.

Much of the training is happening near or at Sawyer International Airport.

“It’s good that we’re ready if something did happen, the military always needs to be in training. So, it’s good to have it here at the airport, it shows cooperation between the airport and the military,” continues Schenden.

Northern Strike is one of the Defense Department’s exercises for guard and reserve troops.

The event will have several live-fire exercises the soldiers must go through in order to make certain they are ready to protect and defend.

Exercise Northern Strike will continue for a few more days here but will resume through August 2 downstate.

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