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Joint Forces participate in Northern Edge 2015

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. Thor Larson | July 2, 2015

Approximately 6,000 U.S. military personnel from the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard, are participating in exercise Northern Edge 2015.

Northern Edge 2015 is Alaska's premier joint training exercise for practicing operations, techniques and procedures as well as enhance interoperability among the services. Thousands of airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from active duty, reserve and National Guard Units are involved.

"From the Marine Corps to the Navy to the Air Force we all have slightly different execution standards or ways and procedures that we do our job," said U.S. Marine Sgt. Brock D. Fortin, a tactical air defense controller with Marine Air Control Squadron 4, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. "The joint environment allows all of the different services to learn to speak the same language."

The exercise takes place on multiple bases across Alaska in what is known as the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, the largest air-ground training complex in the United States, and the Gulf of Alaska.

"The last time we did Northern Edge I was on the USS Decatur in the Gulf of Alaska and now I'm on top of a mountain with the Marines," said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Evan Garcia, a San Diego, California native, who currently serves as an operations specialist with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 9, Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force. "Getting insight on other services' warfare capabilities along with my experience with the Navy's air warfare capabilities is great. It's nice to see how similar but different they are at the same time."

Northern Edge is one part in a series of U.S. Pacific Command exercises in 2015 that prepare joint forces to respond to crises in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Participants will serve as part of a joint task force practicing tasks associated with joint operations.

"Everything involved from the mission planning to the actual execution of the mission really enables our forces to become much stronger and more prepared for our time to fight if it ever does come down to it," said Fortin, a Jay, Vermont native.

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