Jack Frost 1975-1977 & 1979
Northern Edge evolved over the years from Jack Frost,
Brim Frost and Arctic Warrior exercises. The first of these was Jack Frost
75, an Alaskan Command sponsored exercise, which ran from January 7 to
February 14, 1975. Jack Frost 75 focused on joint operations and training in
an arctic environment. Jack Frost 76 marked the beginning of the exercises
sponsored by the US Readiness Command.
Jack Frost 77 exercised command and control techniques
and procedures for joint task force operations. Later that year, US Readiness
Command learned that the nickname, Jack Frost, was prohibited by JCS
publications. The command received approval for the name Brim Frost, and the
final Jack Frost exercise ran in 1979.
Brim Frost 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987 & 1989
Brim Frost 81 was sponsored by US Readiness Command. Brim
Frost 83 was conducted from January 10 to February 11, 1983. Brim Frost 85
began December 10, 1984 and concluded January 24,1985, with more than 18,000
military troops participating. All three of these operations exercised the
ability of Joint Task Force Alaska to conduct winter operations.
Brim Frost 87 involved more than 24,000 active and
reserve Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy personnel. More than 143 Air
Force aircraft, 130 Army aircraft, and five major Coast Guard cutters
employed during Brim Frost 87. Brim Frost 89, sponsored by Forces Command,
involved more than 26,000 troops with a cost of $15 million. This exercise
involved numerous communications initiatives such as AWACS, satellites, and
Arctic Warrior 1991
Arctic Warrior 91 replaced the Brim Frost exercises with
the reestablishment of Alaska Command in 1990. It also transferred the
exercise sponsorship from Forces Command to Pacific Command. The exercise ran
from January 25 to February 6, 1991. It featured live fire and had more than 10,000
Northern Edge 1993-2004
The first Northern Edge exercise kicked-off in 1993. This
exercise was scaled in comparison. ALCOM designed it to be an internal
training event for the headquarters and component headquarters staffs. The
exercise emphasized the joint operations, campaign planning and logistics
Northern Edge 94 field training exercise ran from March
11 to March 18, 1994. This exercise, considerably larger than 1993, involved
more than 14,600 military personnel. ALCOM activated the joint task force
Northern Edge in response to a simulated National Command Authority mission
that provided forces to conduct peace enforcement operations. To add realism,
the Red Cross, International Medical Corps, Feed the Children and other
non-government agencies participated.
Northern Edge 95 and 96 each consisted of three phases,
and included more than 14,000 personnel participated in the joint exercise.
This exercise tested and validated ALCOM's ability to field a deployable
joint task force.
Northern Edge 97, with more than 9,000 personnel, divided
its field training into two parts, held in different locations. Major air and
ground maneuvers were held at Fort Greely. The naval harbor defense portion was
held at Seward, Alaska. Planners focused on night high-tech activities, air
interdiction, deep strike missions and the land maneuver forces during
conventional ground combat.
Northern Edge 98 kicked off with a mass airborne drop of
600 troops in training areas southeast of Fairbanks, while maritime forces
began protecting the harbor in Ketchikan. The mock town of Simpsonville was
used for joint live fire exercises, which became a pivotal part of the field
training. Apache helicopters supported a brigade air assault and more than
1,200 sorties assisted air operations. The USS Ingraham was the high value
unit for the port security portion of the exercise and the U. S. Marine Corps
Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) was the main defender.
Northern Edge 99 included a night airborne mass jump, a
brigade air assault, more than 1,200 air sorties flown, theater missile
defense, information operations, harbor defense, and a three-day and -night
live fire at Simpsonville.
During Northern Edge 2000, there were a number of
live-fire exercises, an airborne operation, and multiple close air support
missions flown. A robust theater missile defense cell took part in the
exercise by conducting antiballistic missile operations against a simulated
attack. Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), made its first
appearance in Northern Edge providing battlefield commanders with near
real-time aerial imagery.
The scenario for Northern Edge 2001 facilitated unit
level training, theater engagement, and joint operations in a cold climate.
Additionally, the naval exercise emphasized joint and combined port security
and harbor defense operations in a friendly host nation. The highlight of the
naval exercise, for the second year in a row, was the use of trained dolphins
to help detect underwater intruders.
Northern Edge 2002 had the benefit of training with crews
from an aircraft carrier and its accompanying support ships. The USS ABRAHAM
LINCOLN operated from the Gulf of Alaska, and its aircraft, including the new
F-18 Super Hornet, flew into the interior of the state to hone their
warfighting skills training with and against other military participants.
Some of the skills practiced include air interdiction against main supply
routes, precision strikes, combat search and rescue of downed aircrew and
tactical airlift support. The area around Valdez served as the backdrop for
the maritime activities and ground defense maneuvers, which centered on
protecting the visiting USS DUBUQUE and the Valdez Marine Terminal.
The war in Iraq forced the scope of Northern Edge 2003
exercise to contract, but it was still the state's largest annual joint
training exercise. The exercise focused on homeland defense scenarios and
incorporated theater missile defense, force protection, air-to-air fighter
aircraft engagements, joint exercises, combat search and rescue, harbor
defense and maritime operations.
Subsequent Northern Edge exercises would focus on
homeland defense/homeland security operations during odd-numbered years and
would focus on joint warfare operations during even-numbered years.
More than 9,000 Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and
Coast Guardsmen from active duty, reserve and National Guard units
participated in Northern Edge 2004, which focused on air-centric tactics and
procedures with an emphasis on air-to-air, air-to-ground, and on personnel
recovery operations in remote areas of the Pacific Alaska Range Complex near
Fairbanks, Alaska and over water in the Gulf. Aircraft participated from the
USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, several
fighter units from Pacific Air Forces, robust aerial tanker support,
multi-service helicopter support, and a fighter unit from Mountain Home AFB,
SHIELD/NORTHERN EDGE 2005
Northern Edge 2005 was combined with the State of
Alaska's homeland security exercise called Alaska Shield which incorporated
federal, state and local organizations in natural and human-made disaster and
terrorist-related scenarios in an interagency environment.
After more than a year's worth of planning and
preparation, the 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 conducted ALASKA SHIELD and
NORTHERN EDGE 2005 from 15-19 August 2005. This exercise provided a wide
range of simulated natural disasters and terrorist events in 21 communities
throughout Alaska designed to train military and civilian "first
responders" and test organizational and integration skills at all levels
of government. This exercise was considered a capstone event for Alaska's
three year Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Plan. Scenario elements
and venues included an earthquake in Juneau, bioterrorism in Ketchikan and
Juneau, critical infrastructure protection at Fort Greely refinery, and
terrorist attacks in various cities throughout Alaska. NORAD objectives for
this exercise included the following:
· Provide air sovereignty
· Execute counter-air operations
· Operate a chemical, biological, radiological, and
nuclear warning and reporting system
· Support other US and Canadian Government Agencies as
directed by the Secretary of Defense
· Exercise Operation NOBLE EAGLE procedures
· Exercise an Air/Expanded Maritime Interception
Northern Edge 2006 was a joint training exercise running
from 5-6 June 2006. The exercise was aimed at helping prepare forces to
respond to crises in the Asian Pacific region. Participants practices
defensive counter-air, close-air support, air interdiction of maritime
targets and personnel recovery missions.
It included approximately 5,000 US active duty and
reserve component soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. Major participating
units included US Army Alaska, Pacific Air Forces, Air Combat Command, Marine
Forces Pacific, Special Operations Command Pacific and US Pacific Fleet.
Naval units included the Carrier Air Wing 11 from Naval Air Station LeMoore,
California. Marine units included the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing from Okinawa.
Army units included the 1st of the 52nd Aviation Battalion from Fort
Wainwright, Alaska. Air Force units included the 3rd Wing from Elmendorf AFB,
Alaska; the 354th Fighter Wing from Eielson AFB, Alaska; Alaska Air National
Guard 176th Wing from Kulis Air Station and the 168th Air Refueling Wing from
Eielson AFB; the 509th Bomb Wing from Whiteman AFB, Missouri; The 1st Fighter
Wing from Langely, Virginia; the 180th Fighter Wing from Toledo, Ohio; and
the 18th Wing from Kadena, Japan. Small elements of Special Operations Forces
The exercise involved over 110 aircraft including: B-2
Spirit, CH-47 Chinook, E-2C Hawkeye, E-3B Sentry AWACS, EA-6B Prowler, F-22A
Raptor, F-15C Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16C Falcon, F/A-18C and F/A-18D
Hornet, F/A-18F Super Hornet, HC-130 Hercules, HH-60 Pavehawk, KC-130
Hercules, KC-135 Stratotanker, SH-60B Seahawk and the UH-60 Blackhawk.
Two US Navy destroyers participated in the exercise. The
USS Chafee based its operations out of Seward and the USS O'Kane participated
out of Homer.
Approved by: 3WG History Office 9 May 2007