What’s up with the jets? Northern Edge 19


Aircraft have been arriving all week at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in advance of the the military exercise known as Northern Edge 2019, May 13 through May 24, which brings thousands of military personnel through Alaska.

Northern Edge is a joint training exercise hosted by U.S. Pacific Air Forces on and above central Alaska ranges and the Gulf of Alaska, designed to sharpen participants’ tactical combat skills, improve command, control, and communication relationships, and develop plans and programs that are integrated across the joint forces.

Personnel from U.S. military units stationed in the Lower 48 and from U.S. installations in the Indo-Pacific will participate with approximately 250 aircraft from all services and five Navy ships.

For the first time in 10 years, a Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier will be participating in the exercise in the Gulf of Alaska.

Major participating units include: U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Marine Corps Forces Pacific, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, Air Force Materiel Command, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and U.S. Naval Reserve.

NE19 is the largest military training exercise scheduled in Alaska this year with virtual and live participants from all over the United States exercising alongside live players.


  1. I believe “Northern Edge” is not only a “practice exercise”. It’s also forward positioning of military assets, from all participating military entities, to place military might within striking range of credible threats to America. There are currently several “credible” threats to America. Alaska is the “front line” of defense for America. Our military bases and assets will bear the brunt of any potential action. Also, Alaska becomes a target for any “pre-emptive” action by America’s adversaries. Be glad our military is here. Alaska is, probably, the most “key” defense location for American safety. Support our military and their reasons for being here.

    • Ben,
      It seems like you have a fair understanding of the current situation at hand.
      A new documentary to watch is called “Ice Race”…
      This film shows how the Norwegian Military is very active in flying over the Arctic to hunt for Russian submarines off of their coast.
      (And they find them)
      A description of the film states:
      “The battle over borders, the environment, food and resource management has begun. How will this affect the world and what will the consequences be for the Arctic?”
      It is also stated that ONE Russian nuclear submarine can carry as many as 27 nuclear warheads on board.
      You bet that the threat is real and as Russia “beefs up” its presence in the Arctic, I am sure that the US will be forced to match this presence.
      Cold War 2.0


  2. While all of our exercises are in some part intended to demonstrate our ability to mobilize and effectively defend against external threats, your belief that Northern Edge is a “forward positioning” in preparation of some kind of strike is plain nonsense. It’s an annual event similar to Red Flag and so many others. We don’t have scheduled annual “forward positioning.” Moving assets within striking range of a threat is inherently an ad hoc reaction to a specific actor or event. Further, we permanently place assets to dissuade hostile actions from neighboring countries with sustained malice. A good example of this permanent placement would be the arsenal we keep at JBER the other 51 weeks of the year. But if chest thumping makes you feel a little more red-blooded then by all means keep spouting off.

    • B,
      You can insult and demean my thoughts all you want. I still believe them to be correct. Why, for instance, for the first time in the history of “Northern Edge”, have a carrier strike force group participating? I am not “thumping my chest”. My thoughts are based on information readily available to anyone who cares to look. If you think there are no “credible” threats currently facing America, then your head is in the sand.

      • BTW,
        I know the “USS John C. Stennis” (aircraft carrier) was present in 2009. The navy advertised one other ship. The guided missile cruiser, “USS Antietam”. Do you think that’s all there were? Not an entire strike/battle group, for sure. Now, the navy is advertising one carrier and five other ships. No way is that the entire force protecting that carrier. The “USS Abraham Lincoln” just went through the Suez canal, along with it’s entire battle group. Reason? A clear and credible threat to America and Americans. Believe what you want, as I do. Do a little research before. Your “arsenal” at JBER would be useless if it fell victim in a first strike.

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