JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- As Alaska transitioned into its summer solstice, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines prepared themselves for the joint training exercise, Northern Edge 15, June 15-26.
The exercise is conducted to improve interoperability between all of the U.S. branches of military service.
"This is the clear demonstration of that partnership. As a single service, we can't get things done by ourselves. It takes all four components as well as our interagency partners to bring all this together. If you have a chance to walk around, you may have noticed that we have satellite communication in play, IP-based type networks, to links not only in dispersed locations but also to bring those communication and networks together in order to provide that overall picture for the commander," said USAF Col. Harold Hoang, Alaska Command J6 OIC. "So, again, this is a clear demonstration of that partnership that we need to have among the four services as well as our interagency mission partners to make this happen."
Of the many Soldiers that participated in the exercise, the 59th Signal Battalion played a major role in NE 15 as well. Throughout the exercise, which lasted from June 15 to 26, the 59th provided strategic and tactical comms to other units, some being from the other sister services.
Assigned to the 59th, is Charlie Co. based on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as well. Now even though C Co. is assigned to the 59th, they actually fall under the 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion out in Helemano Military Reservation, Hawaii. During the exercise, C Co. provided comms throughout various tactical field sites for other elements.
"As far as the exercise, Northern Edge, we are providing SIPR and NIPR data and voice links for the Marines, Air Force, Navy, and other counterparts," said Sgt. Ulysses Morgan, C Co., 307th ESB. "It's a great exercise. We learn a lot more from working with different branches of the military. For two of my Soldiers here this is their first field exercise. For them to actually see how our equipment is put into play and how we provide links for other people. It's a very good learning exercise for them."
This is one of several U.S. Pacific Command exercises that ensures our joint forces are able to respond to different types of disasters within the Pacific Rim. Participants of the exercise improve and maintain their skills by conducting operations, techniques, and procedures. At the end of day, the 59th Signal Battalion played a critical role in Northern Edge 15 and displayed their disaster response readiness by providing solid communications for all participating elements, to include the four branches of service as well as interagency mission partners.