Alaska Shield/Northern Edge exercise to test preparedness

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | August 15, 2005

FT. RICHARDSON, Alaska – U.S. Northern Command, in coordination with the State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other federal, state, and local government partners, will conduct the Alaska Shield/Northern Edge 2005 Homeland Defense/Homeland Security and Military Support for Civil Authority exercise during the week of August 15-19, 2005.

This exercise will provide a wide range of simulated natural disasters and terrorist events in 21 communities, ranging from Barrow to Ketchikan, that are designed to challenge and provide exceptional training for civilian and military "first responders" and test organizational and integration skills at all levels of government.

"Having strong working relationships between federal, state, and local governments is vital in preparing for, and responding to, not only natural disasters but any other terrorist or man-made event," said Lt. Gen. Howie Chandler, commander of Joint Task Force-Alaska at Elmendorf Air Force Base. "Alaska Shield/Northern Edge 2005 continues the Alaskan commitment to exercise our relationships as we put together an integrated response to a series of simulated emergencies at venues across the entire state."

Residents in Anchorage, Barrow, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, the Mat-Su Borough, North Pole, Whittier, and Unalaska may see increased activity in and around their community as police, fire, and emergency medical personnel, as well as members of the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska National Guard, Alaska State Defense Force, FBI, U.S. Army, and U.S. Coast Guard, respond to events that are part of the exercise. These exercise events may include small explosions, bright flashes of light, loud sirens, and the increased presence and sounds of military vehicles and aircraft. Anyone with questions or concerns about the activity in their area should contact their local government offices.

For more information about the Alaska Shield/Northern Edge 2005 exercise, contact the Joint Task Force-Alaska Public Affairs Officer or the State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Public Information Officer at 907-428-7052.