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News | Feb. 17, 2021

ARCTIC WARRIOR 21: Extreme environment builds resilience and readiness

By Alaskan Command Public Affairs

Arctic Warrior, a U.S. Army Alaska-led exercise designed to test the ability of 4-25th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), “Spartans” and supporting units’ Arctic combat readiness in facing near-peer adversaries in Arctic conditions, will conclude, February 19, 2021.

The exercise, which began on February 8, builds Soldiers and leaders into a team of skilled, tough, alert, and adaptive warriors while they develop and refine the tactics, techniques, and procedures necessary to successfully operate in remote and extreme Arctic winter conditions while overcoming both environmental and military challenges.

“Arctic Warrior is the start of an annual exercise that trains us to be ready to deploy, fight, and win decisively against any adversary, anytime and anywhere, in a joint, multi-domain, high-intensity conflict, while simultaneously deterring others and maintaining its ability to conduct irregular warfare in the coldest part of the year,” said Maj. Gen. Pete Andrysiak, Commanding General U.S. Army Alaska. “USARAK demonstrates and enhances the Joint Force’s ability to operate in the Arctic through regular exercises and deployments in the region, both independently and with allies and partners.”

The success of this exercise enhances the ability to deploy Alaska-based formations wherever the Army determines. This depends not only on U.S. Army capabilities, but also upon joint and multinational partners including Air Force air and ground crews and Canadian forces.

A Royal Canadian Air Force Tactical Air Detachment consisting of approximately 40 personnel and two CH-147F Chinook helicopters from 1 Wing’s 450 Squadron will train alongside the Army in a variety of scenarios.

“Canada and the United States have a long history of military cooperation in the Arctic that has been ongoing since WWII, in addition to training troops and make them capable of thriving in the Arctic,” said Brig. Gen. Louis Lapointe, Canadian General, Deputy Commanding General-Operations, U.S. Army Alaska. “An exercise like Arctic Warrior allows us to assess our interoperability, proficiency and share experiences. The skillset our Arctic units are developing are not exclusive to Alaska; they allow us to thrive in any environment where the ruggedness of the climate could affect our operational readiness.”

Arctic Warrior strengthens the lines of communication between participating units, fostering long-term relationships in preparation for future contingencies and operations in the Arctic, an area of increasing interest on the world stage. Alaska, with its harsher winter conditions, provides the ideal location to test and improve systems and procedures to validate readiness to operate in the Arctic environment.

“Joint operations and teamwork between U.S. armed services and our allies in the Arctic is critically important,” said Lt. Gen. David Krumm, Commander, Alaska NORAD Region, Alaskan Command and 11th Air Force. “The challenging environment Alaska provides for exercises like Arctic Warrior ensures we are fully prepared, in both capability and resilience, to safeguard our interests in the Arctic.”