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Annual Northern Lightning Exercise Returns to Volk Field

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jenna Lenski,
  • Wisconsin National Guard

CAMP DOUGLAS, Wis. – Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center will host the annual Northern Lightning Counterland exercise Aug. 8-19, including almost 1,000 personnel from active-duty Air Force, National Guard, Navy and Marine Corps units.

Northern Lightning is a tactical-level, joint training exercise replicating today’s air battle space. A variety of the world’s most advanced aircraft, including the F-35, F-22 and F-16, will participate.

Northern Lightning has grown into a world-class exercise and is one of seven Air National Guard joint accredited exercises held at a Combat Readiness Training Center.

Col. Ben Staats, the exercise director, said Northern Lightning offers an unmatched training experience and first-class facilities and training areas.

“We are thrilled to once again host the annual Northern Lightning exercise at Volk Field,” said Staats. “Northern Lightning has evolved into one of the finest exercises in the nation, simulating offensive counter-air and surface-to-air attacks. Our goal is to provide a joint environment where units from multiple branches of the U.S. military can work together to accomplish training that is essential to their operational readiness.”

Pilots and air crews participating in Northern Lightning will build readiness by operating in a contested environment with adversary aircraft, electronic jamming and simulated surface-to-air threats.

Units participating in the exercise include the 115th Fighter Wing from Madison; the 128th Air Refueling Wing from Milwaukee; the 162d Wing from Tucson, Arizona; the 58th Fighter Squadron from Eglin Air Force Base; the 179th Fighter Squadron from Duluth, Minnesota; the 94th Fighter Squadron from Langley, Virginia; the 109th Air Control Squadron from Salt Lake City, Utah; Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13 and Marine Air Control Squadron 1 from Yuma, Arizona; and more.