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Northern Edge 2019 comes to a close

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned with Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., takes off during Exercise Northern Edge, May 14, 2019, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. More than 25 units and 10,000 personnel with approximately 200 aircraft and five naval ships are participating in the exercise. Northern Edge showcases the lethality of joint forces and the capabilities of U.S. forces in and around the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

A F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., takes off during exercise Northern Edge, May 14, 2019, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. More than 25 units and 10,000 personnel with approximately 200 aircraft and five naval ships are participating in the exercise. Northern Edge showcases the lethality of joint forces and the capabilities of U.S. forces in and around the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

Northern Edge

An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 96th Test Wing from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and an F-22 Raptor fly next to a KC-135R Stratotanker before refueling during exercise Northern Edge, May 16, 2019, over Alaska. Northern Edge is one in a series of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercises in 2019 that prepares joint forces to respond to crises in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

Northern Edge

A U.S. Air Force F-15 flies over Alaska during Northern Edge, May 14, 2019 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Alaska provides unparalleled aerial ranges, airspace and support infrastructure enabling joint forces to hone current and test future applications of combat operations and weapons capabilities during Northern Edge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)

Northern Edge

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot with the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to take off for Exercise Northern Edge, May 14, 2019, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. With participants and assets from the U.S Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, Northern Edge is Alaska’s premier joint-training exercise designed to practice operations and enhanced interoperability among the services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

Northern Edge

Airman 1st Class James Franklin, 96th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crewchief from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., marshalls an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon for Exercise Northern Edge, May 14, 2019, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. More than 25 units and 10,000 personnel with approximately 200 aircraft and five naval ships are participating in the exercise. Northern Edge showcases the lethality of joint forces and the capabilities of U.S. forces in and around the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

Northern Edge

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron inspect an F-15 assigned to the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in preparation for exercise Northern Edge 19, May 8, 2019, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Northern Edge is an exercise showcasing the lethality of joint forces and the capabilities of U.S. forces in and around the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AFNS) --

Approximately 10,000 Airmen, Marines and Sailors journeyed back to their respective home stations following participation in exercise Northern Edge 2019, May 13-24.

The fully integrated, large-scale exercise provided realistic and comprehensive joint training opportunities in and around Alaskan land and airspace, as well as in and above the Gulf of Alaska. NE19 participants trained on defensive counter-air, close-air support and air interdiction of maritime targets.

“The exercise has given us the confidence that when presented with a tough scenario, we’ll fight through it and dominate it," said Brig. Gen. Daniel Heires, Northern Edge 2019 exercise director. “It is important for all of our joint partners to be able to train to current and future developing capabilities in a robust combat operational environment, so that we’ll be able to respond to any crisis at a moments notice.”

The training during NE19 benefits all participants and provides service members a chance to prove they are ready to face any contingency. This year, the exercise also included the Navy aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt as a participant.

“We cannot understate the importance of having the carrier as part of the exercise,” Heires said. “The carrier strike group is an essential part of our power projection but no force fights alone. You have to integrate it with the air components and applicable land components. So, having the carrier here has allowed us to focus on how we integrate the carrier in a full spectrum operation.”

Eglin Air Force Base test units, the 40th Flight Test Squadron and 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, continued their mission in the combat exercise environment.  Squadron F-15s and F-16s flew test missions throughout their third year of participation. 

With the joint training completed, exercise leadership will use the information gathered to measure the current combat capabilities. The analysis determines how well the services integrated and equipment performed in the Alaskan environment. The information is then used in joint publications that all the services use to improve interoperability.

Aircrews completed more than 1,400 sorties, spent 3,900 hours flying and delivered approximately 15.1 thousand gallons of fuel throughout the exercise.