LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan National Guard is spending the week in the Upper Peninsula to participate in its annual Northern Exposure training exercise. The exercises are taking part in Delta, Chippewa, Mackinac, Marquette, Alger, Dickinson, Iron, Ontonagon, Gogebic and Schoolcraft counties.

“Each training event will simulate the process of recalling and responding to a disaster or force protection need,” Lt. Col. Mark Gorzynski, director of domestic operations, Michigan Army National Guard, said. “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 also allows for for process improvement and development of 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,” Captain Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, said.

Northern Exposure is held annually in different Michigan counties. Previous exercises have included floods, fires, civil disturbance explosions and chemical spills.