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    Coming together to get things done



    Story by Staff Sgt. Tegan Kucera 

    Michigan National Guard

    Soldiers and marines come together to accomplish their joint mission training at Northern Strike 19.

    Northern Strike 19 is a National Guard Bureau sponsored joint, accredited exercise that provides accessible, readiness-building opportunities for units from all services to achieve or sustain proficiency in conduction mission command, air, sea and ground maneuver integration, and the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action and major combat operations environment that is scalable to unit resource levels.

    “The planning was pretty challenging because of the scale of Northern Strike, there’s so many people here,” said Capt. Kaitlyn Lloyd a Marine inspector-instructor from the Combat Logistics Regiment-45, based out of Marietta, Georgia.

    There are over 5,000 troops from more than 20 states and multiple countries involved with Northern Strike 19. The exercise is an annual exercise that take place over the summer at Camp Grayling and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in northern Michigan. Approximately 1,000 of those here for the exercise are reserve Marines from the regiment.

    “It was really cool to bring everyone in and see how we can get the mission done utilizing all aspects of the regiment,” said Lloyd.

    The regiment has not come together for annual training for almost a decade, so this was a chance for them to not only train together, but also with the Soldiers and airmen who also came up for the exercise. This is a new experience for many of the reserve Marines who like the National Guard only train one weekend a month and two weeks a year on their marine skills.

    “Honestly as an active duty Marine, I’ve never worked with the Army before, obviously I’ve never worked with the National Guard before,” said Lloyd. “This is a really cool opportunity to see what they bring to the table and how we can work together and accomplish the mission.”

    Lloyd said the amount of help her regiment received to even get to Michigan was amazing from the transportation units who transported the equipment up; to the communications specialist who made communications in the field a breeze. Even the Personnel Retrieval and Processing Company (PRP), a Marine reserve company based out of Smyrna, Georgia, took advantage of working with the National Guard this summer. They did this by working with the 928th Medical Company Area Support, from Fort Carson, Colorado, when they took the ‘dead’ patients the MCAS was unable to save.

    “This training is two-folds, because they get deceased casualties from us,” said Capt. Kevin Transue the commander of the 928th MCAS. “It’s not realistic that we’ll be able to save everybody every time, which normally we don’t play that way, we play where everyone magically gets better and in this case it’s more realistic.”

    Transue has really been enjoying the training his unit has been receiving at Northern Strike 19, because it does have a more real world feel to it. This is something they don’t get when they have their annual training at their home station like last year.

    “Most of my Soldiers have not had anything like this experience before, I keep telling them this is a great opportunity,” said Transue.

    Not only are members of the 928th MCAS training for mass casualty situations with the help of the Marines as their patients they are also running two ‘sick call’ stations. One on the main part of Camp Grayling and one in the field, giving the medics a wider spectrum of training.

    “Sick call itself is always a good training opportunity, because of the way the medic are educated,” said Transue. “Their training is very trauma heavy, but not a lot of medical illness, but then if you go and deploy or something trauma is an occasional horrifying excitement, but most of the ‘bread and butter is actual medical illness.”

    The main thing both the 928th MCAS and the CLR-45 are getting at Northern Strike is the opportunity to team build within their own unit and the chance to build a working relationship with service members outside their own service. It has taken a year to plan two weeks of training, but the two weeks are vital to the missions of all involved.



    Date Taken: 08.01.2019
    Date Posted: 08.05.2019 21:49
    Story ID: 334652
    Location: GRAYLING, MI, US 

    Web Views: 35
    Downloads: 0