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    New York Air National Guard maintenance operations support Northern Strike 18

    New York Air National Guard maintenance operations support Northern Strike 18

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Bethany Rizor | The 174th Forward Operating Location (FOL), Fort Drum New York, an aircraft...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Bethany Rizor 

    110th Attack Wing

    ALPENA, Mich. – For the past six years, the people of Alpena, Mich. have opened their community to one of the largest joint maneuver training events in the U.S. One unit in particular, has participated in Northern Strike every year as a critical component to the training mission. This year, Northern Strike has introduced the most robust aviation package yet.

    The 174th Forward Operating Location (FOL), Fort Drum, New York, an aircraft maintenance detachment, handles fourth-generation fighter aircraft including the A-10, F-16, and F-15. Their mission during Northern Strike is to provide landing, rearming, and refueling capabilities to get aircraft back in the air.

    Capt. Chris Sturick, 174th FOL commander, is responsible for setting up the Maintenance Operation Center (MOC) for Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center during Northern Strike. His mission is to coordinate all of the maintenance and production efforts with the participating aviation units.

    “A well-choreographed and orchestrated symphony of American air power: that’s what we do,” said Sturick. “It really is the maintenance effort here that allows the aircrew to get in the air on time. Gets them time over target, connects them with the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs), and employs weapons to provide them with the most realistic and effective combat training.”

    Augmenting the training allows the 174th to provide close air support to the pilots, JTACs and ground forces so they can get the critical combat training that makes them better warfighters when they go down range to engage enemies in combat. Sturick manages a weapons crew to load the weapons onto the aircraft, a Petroleum Oil Lube (POL) team to refuel aircraft, a munitions specialist who builds, stores, and delivers munitions to the aircraft, and an administrative personnel who works with warfighter coordinators at Tactical Operations Centers (TOCs).

    “This specific training environment allows my unit to get as close to real combat outside of a deployment as possible. The higher operations tempo, the demand of our capabilities, affords my unit the opportunity to showcase their talents and expertise in aircraft maintenance,” said Sturick.

    Northern Strike 18 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting service members from many states, multiple service branches and a number of coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2018 at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, both located in northern Michigan and operated by the Michigan National Guard. The accredited Joint National Training Capabilities exercise demonstrates the Michigan National Guard's ability to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, together with the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment.



    Date Taken: 08.10.2018
    Date Posted: 08.12.2018 21:15
    Story ID: 288405
    Location: ALPENA, MI, US 

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