Northern Edge military exercise again brings unease to Alaska coastal towns
A massive military exercise will return this spring to the Gulf of Alaska, and so is the controversy over its environmental impacts.
Northern Edge, a biennial training exercise led by the Alaskan Command, is scheduled for May 1-12 in the waters, skies and mountainous terrain of Southcentral Alaska. It will amass 6,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and other personnel, 175 aircraft and several ships from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard to test and improve their skills in simulated combat.
"It is Alaska's premier joint training exercise designed to practice operations, techniques and procedures, and enhance interoperability among the services," the Alaskan Command says on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson's website.
But to many people living in the coastal communities closest to planned Northern Edge marine operations, the state's biggest joint military training exercise is cause for big worries.