Ten Upper Peninsula counties participate in Michigan National Guard’s Northern Exposure Training Exercise, training to improve processes and develop agreements, policies, procedures and standards interagency data sharing to improve services for veterans.

Delta, Chippewa, Mackinac, Marquette, Algiers, Dickinson, Iron, Ontonagon, Gogebic and Schoolcraft counties began the exercise Monday.

“Northern Exposure is an annual exercise designed to train Michigan National Guard Soldiers in domestic response operations while strengthening interagency and intergovernmental partnerships,” said Col. Robert Frazer, director of training and exercises for the Michigan National Guard. Michigan National Guard. “This year’s training event is in conjunction with the Michigan State Police’s annual Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division exercise and includes a variety of situational training exercises and table events. The exercise provides realistic, constructive and simulated operating environments for the training audience while working with our local, county, state and federal partners.

The Michigan National Guard says the four-day training is hosted by commercial and federal partners, including the U.S. Forestry Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is held in different counties across the state each year. They say drills from previous formations have included flooding, fires, civil unrest, explosions and chemical spills.

“Exercises like this are incredibly important. They help prepare our teams for what could happen, but they also provide an opportunity to build inter-agency cooperation and understanding,” said Captain Kevin Sweeney, Emergency Management and Security Division Commander. Michigan State Police Department. “This type of training ensures that we are always ready to respond and keep Michigan and its people safe.”