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      Operation Northern Strike prepares soldiers at Camp Grayling

      Camp Grayling is hosting National Guard soldiers from all over the country this week for the annual combat training exercises known as Northern Strike.

      Each year, hundreds of soldiers participate in live fire exercises to practice defending American soil.

      Northern Strike is a two week program that brings 24 National Guard units from 12 different states to Grayling.

      This program is the largest of its kind in the United States and Camp Grayling was the perfect fit for the second straight year. â??We have great air space both in the air and on the ground to allow an aircraft and our ground troops to train,â?? Len Isabella, Michigan Air National Guard Commander said.

      Despite the success of this program, this year the Michigan National Guard ran into an unexpected issue, federal budget cuts, which provided some obstacles this time around.

      â??Some things have to be scaled back, but honestly this is where the National Guard really shines, because we are able to in a really cost effective manner conduct these exercises,â?? Major General Greg Vadnais, Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs Director said.

      The busy week has just begun at Camp Grayling, the training lasts until August 17th.

      Governor Rick Snyder also dropped by the facility for a brief period this afternoon to check out the unique training program.