Military aircraft take wing for Northern Edge 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017 - 23:03

The birds are returning to Alaska skies.

Residents living near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson can expect to see an increase in military flying between May 1-12 as the U.S. Pacific Command conducts its annual Northern Edge training operation. Taking place primarily on JBER and Eielson Air Force Base, the operation involves about 6,000 service members and 180 aircraft, according to a press release issued by the Alaskan Command.

The training operation will utilize airspace over the Gulf of Alaska and the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, which includes 65,000 square miles of available airspace as well as 2,490 square miles of land on which to train, according to an online JPARC fact sheet.

“The JPARC provides a realistic training environment and allows commanders to train for full spectrum engagements, ranging from individual skills to complex, large-scale joint engagements,” reads the fact sheet.

The training includes personnel and aircraft from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

The training mission is Alaska’s largest joint training mission, according to the fact sheet, which includes pictures of Navy SEALS crossing a silty Alaska river and an F-22 Raptor performing a supersonic flyby in a photo taken from the deck of an aircraft carrier.

The Alaska Command advised pilots to be especially mindful of the increased aircraft activity.

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