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Bringing testing to Northern Edge

Northern Edge

A KC-135R Stratotanker prepares to refuel an F-15C Eagle assigned to the 53rd Wing from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., during exercise Northern Edge, May 16, 2019, over 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 Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

Northern Edge

A 96th Test Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon, from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., park on the runway during Exercise Northern Edge, May 13, 2019, 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 Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

Northern Edge

A 53rd Wing 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. Northern Edge is designed to sharpen participants’ tactical combat skills, to improve command, control and communication relationships and to develop plans and programs across the Joint Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russell)

Northern Edge

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned with the 85th Test and Evaluation squadron, 53rd Wing, lands May 8, 2019 in preparation for exercise Northern Edge 19 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. With participants and assets from the U.S Air Force, Marine Corps, 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 Charles T. Fultz)

Northern Edge

U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 96th Test Wing from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., park on the flightline prior to Exercise Northern Edge, May 10, 2019, 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. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez)

Northern Edge

A KC-135R Stratotanker prepares to refuel an F-16C Fighting Falcon assigned to the 96th Test Wing from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., during exercise Northern Edge, May 16, 2019, over Alaska. Northern Edge is designed to sharpen participants’ tactical combat skills, to improve command, control and communication relationships and to develop plans and programs across the Joint Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

Northern Edge

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron inspect an F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, as part of 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)

Northern Edge

Two U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons assigned to the 96th Test Wing and 53rd Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, fly alongside a 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135R Stratotanker after receiving fuel during Northern Edge, May 16, 2019, over the Gulf of Alaska. Northern Edge provides effective, capabilities-centered joint forces, ready for deployment world-wide and enables real-world proficiency in detection, identification and tracking of units at sea, in the air and on land. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eric M. Fisher)

Northern Edge

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle assigned to the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, arrives as part of exercise Northern Edge 19, May 8, 2019 at 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 Master Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)

Northern Edge
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A U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon assigned to the 53rd Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, prepares to receive fuel from a 909th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135R Stratotanker during Northern Edge, May 16, 2019, over the Gulf of 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 Senior Airman Eric M. Fisher)

Northern Edge
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A 96th Test Wing F-15C Eagle, assigned from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., participates in Exercise Northern Edge, May 13, 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)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

More than 250 Airmen from here and Nellis Air Force Base made their way home May 25 following the conclusion of exercise Northern Edge 2019 in Alaska.

A combination of F-35, F-16, F-15C, F-15E’s totaling 28 aircraft from the 53rd Wing and 96th Test Wing participated in the exercise. 

 

“Northern Edge allows us to test new system upgrades in what we call a Large Force Exercise or LFE, which basically means a lot of airplanes airborne at the same time in support of a particular mission,” said Maj. Eric Marsh, 40th Flight Test Squadron flight commander. 

 

There were approximately 15 different tests ongoing throughout the exercise, ranging from hardware and software to updated tactics employment. 

“We received a lot of good, usable data, making it a success. We were able to identify limitations within all of these systems” said Marsh. “We know what must be addressed before it’s fielded to the combat air forces. Also, finding limitations means we are creating scenarios that accurately represent the challenging environments our warfighters could face.”

The expanse of Northern Edge’s controlled range allowed aircrews a new capability to test air to air engagements and surface to air threat warning system scenarios at max range.

“The exercise helps us to move at the speed of relevance to deliver new tech to the warfighter just when he needs it,” said Marsh.