LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan National Guard is participating in exercise Northern Exposure, bringing together partners in a record 12 counties to train to respond to natural disasters and other domestic scenarios.
Michigan National Guard Col. Robert Frazer, director of training and exercises, said the annual exercise enhances interagency and intergovernmental partnerships.
“This year’s training event is in collaboration with the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division’s annual exercise and includes a variety of situational training exercises and tabletop events,” he said.
The exercise, Frazer said, provides realistic operating environments to train with local, county, state and federal partners.
Many of the events during the four-day exercise April 11-14 were hosted by partners such as the U.S. Forestry Service and Army Corps of Engineers.
“Each training event will simulate the process of recalling and responding to a disaster or force protection need,” said Lt. Col. Mark Gorzynski, director of domestic operations, Michigan Army National Guard. “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.”
He said the training would improve interagency cooperation and increase understanding of each organization’s capabilities.
“Exercises like this are incredibly important,” said Captain Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. “They help prepare our teams for what may come, but they also offer an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and understanding between agencies. This type of training ensures we’re always ready to respond and keep Michigan and its people safe.”
Northern Exposure is held annually in different Michigan counties. Previous exercises have focused on responding to floods, fires, civil disturbances, explosions and chemical spills.