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      Northern Strike invades Camp Grayling

      More than 5,000 service members took part in the third annual Operation Northern Strike August 4-22 at Camp Grayling in Crawford County.

      More than 5,000 service members took part in the third annual Operation Northern Strike August 4-22 at Camp Grayling in Crawford County.

      "We wanted to create a scenario that mirrored current combat operations overseas," says Captain Justin Bierens.

      That is exactly what Camp Grayling has during Operation Northern Strike, with 29 different units from across the United States.

      "We bring them all together and we create a scenario in which they all can integrate together using different live fire platforms in a multi-dimensional type battle space, that is constructed within a scenario," says Bierens.

      Army Guard Forces combined with the Air National Guard and created a full on mission.

      Each attack helicopter shoots off 2.75in. rockets and 30mm canons.

      Troops on the ground moved toward their target while attack aircraft shot from above.

      "We have these targets there??s an automatic timer so they pop up and go down after you shoot them, so we can continually have exposures of the target," says SGT. Peter Gavrilovich.

      During the operation several soldiers had to act like they got hurt to see how quick the team reacted.

      "The importance of medical evacuation training ensures that in real life scenarios that a critically wounded soldier is evacuated from the combat zone in a time effective manner," says SSG. Thomas Vega.

      The captain says Camp Grayling is really leading the way for military training.

      "This has really taken off to a level that we hadn't expected and now it's really a premier combined arms joint training event," says Bierens.