Joint Exercise Northern Edge Ensures Maritime Security

Story Number: NNS090617-06Release Date: 6/17/2009 3:09:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steve Owsley

GULF OF ALASKA (NNS) -- John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group assets consisting of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and USS Antietam (CG 54) arrived in the Gulf of Alaska June 15 for exercise Northern Edge 2009.

The exercise provides real-world proficiency in detection and tracking of units at sea, in the air and on land and response to multiple crises.

Approximately 9,000 U.S. active-duty and Reserve component Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines and more than 200 aircraft will take part in Northern Edge June 15-26.

"Northern Edge is one of the biggest joint exercises that we do in this country, and it's a great opportunity for John C. Stennis to go up there and participate," said Stennis Commanding Officer Capt. Joseph Kuzmick. "There's a lot of room and lots of places to fly that make this a very robust exercise. It's exciting for me to take this team up there and see how we do."

According to Kuzmick, Northern Edge is an Air Force-run exercise, but the workload is split evenly between Air Force and Navy assets.

"We're going to play the chief asset of the naval component commander," said Kuzmick. "We'll be operating as an aircraft carrier in the exercise scenario, and we'll be applying our air power to the problem."

Northern Edge is designed to be an air-centric exercise to train units in joint air operations tactics and command and control in a cost-effective and low-risk environment. Every branch of the military is scheduled to have aircraft involved in the exercise.

"It's incredibly important that if we are going to fight together that we train together," said Kuzmick. "We need to learn each other's languages, each other's tactics, techniques and procedures so that we can operate relatively seamlessly as a very effective tool."

Northern Edge operations will be conducted within the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, which includes more than 60,000 square miles of air space and the Gulf of Alaska, which encompasses 50,000 square miles of air space.

Joint service participation utilizes U.S. maritime and air forces, focusing on common threats to ensure maritime security.

For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Kelsey Gifford, from Augusta, Ga., communicates with hangar deck control while hangar bay personnel transfer a F/A-18C Hornet.
090615-N-2475A-010 GULF OF ALASKA (June 15, 2009) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Kelsey Gifford, from Augusta, Ga., communicates with hangar deck control while hangar bay personnel transfer a F/A-18C Hornet from the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 323 to the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). John C. Stennis and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 are participating in Northern Edge 2009, a joint exercise which focuses on detecting and tracking units at sea, in the air and on land. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate/ Released)
June 16, 2009
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