‘Kabooms’ heard on south shore are military exercises near Alpena, Michigan

UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from 2nd Battalion, 135th Alpha Company, Denver, Colo., depart to a refueling point after a long day of training at Northern Strike 18, Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich., Aug. 6, 2018. Northern Strike 18 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting service members from many states, multiple service branches and a number of coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2018 at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, both located in northern Michigan and operated by the Michigan National Guard. The accredited Joint National Training Capabilities exercise demonstrates the Michigan National Guard's ability to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, together with the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment. (Air National Guard photo/released)

LAKE HURON—Some residents of the south shore of Manitoulin Island may have heard some rather loud booms coming from across Lake Huron in recent days. Not to worry, assures, First Lieutenant Andrew Layton, public relations officer with the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Centre in Michigan—Manitoulin Island, and Canada, is safe.

“Right now we’re participating in exercise Northern Strike, from August 5 to 18,” said First Lieutenant Layton. “It’s a major multinational exercise involving nine countries and 6,000 military personnel. It’s the largest joint reserve exercise in the United States.”

First Lieutenant Layton said Northern Strike includes “lots of diverse training over Lake Huron,” such as search and rescue missions and live-fire munitions training 40 miles (64 kilometres) from Alpena, Michigan, which is what Islanders would have heard.

The nine countries taking part in Northern Strike are the United Kingdom, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Germany and Jordan.

“The Chief of Defense for Latvia was here today (Monday)—the top commanding officer for his country,” First Lieutenant Layton shared with The Expositor.

Many of the visitors are being housed at nearby Camp Grayling with 1,500 of the visiting military personnel at the Alpena training centre in dorms or in tents.

The ‘kabooms’ heard come from the munitions training over the restricted Lake Huron waterspace off Alpena, which has had that particular designation since World War II.

“You’re not under attack! Things are okay,” the lieutenant assured this newspaper.

The training, an annual event, ends this Saturday, August 18.

UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from 2nd Battalion, 135th Alpha Company, Denver,
Colo., depart to a refueling point after a long day of training at Northern
Strike 18, Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich., Aug. 6,
2018.
Northern Strike 18 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting
service members from many states, multiple service branches and a number of
coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2018 at the Camp
Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness
Training Center, both located in northern Michigan and operated by the
Michigan National Guard. The accredited Joint National Training Capabilities
exercise demonstrates the Michigan National Guard’s ability to provide
accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all
service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission
command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, together with the
synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action
environment. (Air National Guard photo/released)