In this file photo, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the Gulf of Alaska following exercise Northern Edge 2019. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Erick A. Parsons)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - Approximately 15,000 U.S. service members, six U.S. Navy ships and 240 aircraft will participate in Northern Edge 2021 (NE21), a joint field training exercise May 3-14 from various locations in and around Alaska.

Locations include Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Eielson Air Force Base, Allen Army Airfield, King Salmon, Cold Bay, Fairbanks International Airport, Ted Stevens International Airport, Juneau International Airport, Alaska; and Fairchild AFB and Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington.

NE21 is a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercise designed to provided high-end, realistic war fighter training, develop and improve joint interoperability, and enhance the combat readiness of participating forces. This is done by providing a venue for large force employment training and multi-domain operations; tactical training for the full spectrum of conflict; execute and advance adaptive basing joint tactics, techniques, and procedures; advance live-virtual-constructive capabilities; and support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s experimental initiatives.

“We need events that allow the joint force to come together in a large venue to train alongside each other,” said Lt. Col. Mike Boyer, Pacific Air Forces NE21 lead planner. “Typically, training happens within your units, within your services, but you never really get the volume or the complexity you would expect to see in a modern day conflict. Northern Edge allows the joint force to put all the pieces of the puzzle together in the big picture and allows our younger generation within the armed forces to experience what future conflict could feel like in the complexities associated with it.”

U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines will conduct training over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, Gulf of Alaska, and temporary maritime activities area.

Major participating units include the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and Carrier Air Wing 11 (CVW-11); the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit; 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, JBER; 17th Field Artillery Brigade, JBLM; 3rd Expeditionary Air and Space Task Force, JBER; 53rd Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida; and various total force mobility assets.

U.S. military units in the continental United States and from U.S. installations in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility will participate in the exercise. It is the largest military training exercise scheduled in Alaska this year with virtual and live participation.