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U.S. To Carry Out Large-Scale “Northern Edge” Exercise Simulating Arctic Warfare

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U.S. To Carry Out Large-Scale "Northern Edge" Exercise Simulating Arctic Warfare

Illustrative image. Click to see full-size image

Starting on May 3rd, the US will hold the 12-day “Northern Edge” military exercise in Alaska, to simulate Arctic warfare.

The Air Force’s team in the Pacific will lead the Army, Navy and Marine Corps.

“Northern Edge allows [U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s] joint force to … put all the pieces of the puzzle together, the big picture, and allow our younger generations within the armed forces to experience what future conflict could feel like, and the complexities associated with it,” Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Boyer, the lead planner for Northern Edge said.

This year’s iteration of Northern Edge comes as Russian military aircraft in 2020 flew near Alaskan airspace “more … than we’ve seen in any year since the end of the Cold War,” according to U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command boss Gen. Glen VanHerck.

It is not known exactly what scenario would be drilled, in order to “preserve a degree of realism” for the soldiers taking part.

“We are looking at what modern warfare could be in the future, and that includes scenarios like [Russian incursion into American airspace,” Boyer said. “Obviously, we see a lot of interest and value in our nation’s interest in the Arctic and we want to make sure that those are protected and preserved in an appropriate manner.”

It is not exactly know which units will take part, but it could involve up to 300 aircraft. Boyer hinted that the new KC-46 tanker plane will participate.

“In a bandwidth-limited environment, how do we communicate with folks that are spread out there in the sea space?” he said. “The folks that are in the maritime surface component, how do we communicate [with] them from a main operating base or even a spoke?”

It’s the first time the U.S.-only event will incorporate combined operations with an unnamed carrier strike group, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and an amphibious ready group.

The aim is to gather most of the branches of US military in order to exchange experience and knowledge.

“We can bring all that together and say: ‘Aha! You know what, Marine Corps? That fueling equipment you have is way better and much smaller than the one the Air Force has. Let’s see if we can get some exposure between your fuel specialists in the Marine Corps and the Air Force fuel specialists, and then take notes on each other’s equipment and figure out how we can make them interoperable, or at least maybe use the same thing,’” Boyer added.

In preparation for Arctic warfare, the US Army is looking into procuring a new all-terrain vehicle that can operate in the region.

The service awarded contracts to two vendors: a team of American firm Oshkosh Defense and the land systems division of Singapore’s ST Engineering; and a team of two BAE System units, Land and Armaments as well as BAE Hagglunds.

They will provide prototypes for a cold-weather, all-terrain vehicle, or CATV, in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.

These prototypes are to undergo extreme cold-weather testing and evaluation in Alaska at the Cold Regions Test Center from August through the end of December.

“This will help inform the downselect process for the production contract,” Goddette said. “Current plans call for the final downselect for the CATV in the third quarter of [FY22].”

The Army needs the CATV quickly to replace its Small Unit Support Vehicle, or SUSV, which is “no longer sustainable,” said Tim Goddette, the program executive officer of the service’s combat support and combat service support.

The CATV is a new-start program in FY21, and its capability development document was signed May 7, 2019. The Army plans to spend $6.6 million for research and development, testing, and evaluation in FY21, and $9.25 million to procure the new vehicles. This includes an $8.25 million congressional plus-up above the service’s budget request as well as $500,000 in foreign comparative testing funds.

The procurement objective is for 110 CATVS, with a total acquisition objective of 163.

The CATV “will provide transportation in extreme cold-weather conditions for up to nine personnel to support emergency medical evacuation, command-and-control capability, and general-cargo transportation,” Goddette said.

The program office has been working with Army Futures Command to iron out the specifics required for the vehicle, but the effort has been underway for some time “to ensure we understand the requirements/desired key capabilities for a modernized cold-weather vehicle,” Goddette noted. “This allows us to execute an accelerated acquisition program to assess, procure, produce, field and sustain such a system.”

The US appears to be giving much more attention to the Arctic now, seeing as how it needs to contest Russia and China in it, and claims that they have been busy militarizing it.


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Dick Von Dast'Ard

It’s like asking a cougar to turn into a polar bear… Not really feasible.

johnny rotten

PowerPoint warriors want to challenge Hyperboreans to their land, it is laughing to my thought.


If they end up stuck in ice in that “exercise”, they can always call Russia for help…

rightiswrong rightiswrong

Stuck in the Arctic without Russian equipment, stuck on Earth without Russian equipment.

After buying Alaska from the Russians over a century ago, it seems the US never realised that Alaska has snow, and would require Arctic equipment to operate in.

Only in the Dis-USA, lol.

Jim Allen

And, Russia will respond.


Yes they would respond. But I doubt very much that US would call them for help ever…

Jim Allen

I don’t know about US Navy, but US Coast Guard works with Russia’s ice breakers to keep commerce moving.
The two services get along pretty good, but then there’s no brass involved. One time the Russians called over and ordered pizza for the Coast Guard guys, and the CG buys lunch for Russia’s guys. (land based)
US Navy would probably swallow their pride if a ship was stuck hard enough they couldn’t break it out themselves rather than lose the ship. It’s only a big deal to the Navy, Russians don’t care what ship it is, they respond to all distress calls, regardless.
It was a Russian destroyer that stood by Liberty until the carrier finally turned around and returned to assist.
The destroyer stayed until they saw the carrier come over the horizon.
Israeli’s broke off their attack when they saw the destroyer cruising up to see what the shooting was all about.
Kept the US submarine
from launching a second torpedo.
It’s worth noting the destroyer got around the Israeli radio jamming, and contacted Liberty to offer medical assistance, and damage control. The Captain spoke with Liberty’s Captain.
Who declined assistance, the destroyer stood by, convinced Liberty would sink.


“Kept the US submarine from launching a second torpedo”

Now that is some story… and US sub crew knew whom are they to sink and why?!?
Story worth movie script ( not Hollywood movie obviously )
I didn’t know that the Soviet destroyer and US submarine were involved also…
Thanks for the story !

Jim Allen

There should be something on this in Russian history.

Lone Ranger

Great info Jim.
I didn’t know that.
Thank you🤗


That’s very interesting. I had not read about that Russian ship aiding the USS Liberty before.

rightiswrong rightiswrong

I never heard about the Soviet destroyer appearing Jim, isn’t it amazing what the Zio’s can keep buried from most.

Jim Allen

Russia never said shit about it either.

rightiswrong rightiswrong

True, but they also never tried to save face by telling the world that the US were withdrawing their missiles from Turkey in return for them pulling their missiles from Cuba.
As Boney M would say, Oh those Russians, lol.

rightiswrong rightiswrong

What is it with the Yanks, and using equipment that they have neither designed or built?

They are going to design a vehicle for snow? Only now!

That goes along with their super duper hydrosonic weapons they were boasting about, last year, lol.

In the real world, both Russia and China have actual, deployed Hypersonic missiles, and Russia has hundreds of snow transports, for decades.
If ISIS were in the Arctic, the Yanks would have hundreds of snowmobiles ready and waiting for them.

Jim Allen

There’s civilian equipment, the oil companies are out on the ice every winter, doing their thing. They run trucks out of Alaska to the oil rigs on the ice every winter.
Hauling everything, food, fuel, pipe, drill pipe, housing units, etc..

rightiswrong rightiswrong

Somebody ought to tell the US Army then Jim, they are insisting on developing some new multi billion dollar troop transporter on tracks to pull heavy artillery, air defence, troops, food, munitions.
You’d want to ask the US where has all their Arctic gear gone, seeing as how they had no problem supplying their troops with this gear during the Cold War.

Jim Allen

The military must must have it’s own junk. It wouldn’t have had a whole bunch of cold weather hardware, given at best the most icebreakers US had was four, all the same size as the one that’s left. Neither US, or Canada built any icebreakers to replace those, now they got squat.
I can imagine these CATV’s, they’ll be like F-35 but with tracks….
Or, Zumwalt class destroyers. In about 10 years. Should buy Russian.

rightiswrong rightiswrong

It is strange though, how this general talks about getting new gear. I had a buddy who served in the US Army, a neighbour who emigrated there. I met him well after Gulf War1, and he started telling me about the crack out there. He said they stole more humvees and other US gear, than were ever lost in service or accidents. The theft was on an industrial scale according to him.

Must be what happened to the Arctic gear, they certainly never gave it to anyone else.

Jim Allen

Or, destroyed it.

rightiswrong rightiswrong

Maybe, but making money is the bottom line with them.

Jim Allen

Once delivered, their money’s made. What happens after that is the military’s problem. Of course, if/when losses of expensive hardware are unusually high, more must be produced to ensure US military is able to continue giving countries “Freedom.”
Highly prized, in many countries.

rightiswrong rightiswrong

It is, but having high levels of theft requires replacements, from which the producers profit. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve seen Hollywood display theft on a massive scale within the US military. Films like Kelly’s Heroes, great film btw, is about stealing gold for themselves, where they buy artillery strikes, tanks, supplies and whole sapper battalions through the promise of a share etc. Band of Brothers, MASH, Hogan’s Heroes, they all had black market acquired goods by certain characters, usually portrayed in a good light. I remember another film with William Holden about a spy in a US POW camp, where he was blamed for being the spy as he ran a black market operation where he obviously dealt with the Germans. I can’t remember the name, another great film though. Now that’s all Hollywood, or so I thought, until my old neighbour told me that is what goes on, he said it was what they do. Remember in Vietnam, they were supplying and transporting opium from the Golden Triangle all over. So I believe these types of crimes are accepted within the US military as a fact of life. The Brits used war treasures to improve the fighting moral of their sailors, when the crew would receive monies for captured shipping. If it’s tolerated for this long, then it’s safe to assume it suits the people who runs the whole show. That’s my thoughts Jim


The Russians should send a submarine and few tourists to Antarctica just to get a rise out of the USA. If they did I’ll bet the Falklands will get an air base and Argentina will get $$ billions in US aid.

Steve Standley

Good luck catching up on cold weather warfare. Russians even have a tank designated specifically for extreme subzero temperatures: the T-80. It’s made to start and run immediately at subzero temps. Virtually everything else is already built for subzero temps as well. Every Russian weapons development program tests and requires operability in extreme sub zero conditions.

Lone Ranger


cechas vodobenikov

incompetent empire wasting money—accelerating demise
while pre-electric Texas and irradiated Florida, poison water Michigan, fascist Oregon all rot in narcissistic pools of ugliness

Tommy Jensen

Exactly what I recommended. Thats what we will be doing! America won again! We won!!

US Navy, Air-Force, Army and US Space join together in Arctic in one big exercise and drill pretending they are defending themselves against an attacker.

300 Air-fighters, Air-Bombers, Air-Transport Planes, Air-Fuelling. 30 Subs with nuclear bombs, 30 Destroyers, 20 Frigates, 3 Air-Carrier Groups, 100 Corvettes and 100 Hydrofoil Troop Landings, plus 150 000 enhanced US Special Forces and Allies in Arctic.
Only to get cooperation experience and incorporate combined operations training and knowledge in Arctic……………………………….LOL.

“We can bring all that together in Arctic and say: ‘Aha! You know what, Marine Corps? That fuelling equipment you have is way better and much smaller than the one the Air Force has”.
“Let’s see if we can get some exposure between your fuel specialists in the Marine Corps and the Air Force fuel specialists, and do it better……………………..LOL”.

Lone Ranger

Sarcasm detected…
Last time a U.S. guided missile cruiser ventured beyond the article circle it had to be saved by Norwegian coast guard lolz…

Lone Ranger

Poor trolls will freeze and rage…

Jim Allen

Have to wonder what country the production of these CATV’s will be built ? US has no manufacturing capacity since de-industrialization.
Someone probably should’ve thought about icebreakers, US Coast Guard has one. Quite old, and dependent on robbing parts off the three retired sister icebreakers.
Will F-35 even start in the Arctic ?
US submarines get stuck in the ice every time they surface, the three frigates broke down when they went there, sending an attack carrier group to the Arctic ought to be a thrill.
Fortunately for the West Russia has no designs on taking over the world. US knows how it is, and so believes all other countries are like it is. Like a cheater believes everyone else is a cheater like they are.
Russian aircraft flying near US borders closer than usual, probably has to do with US aircraft flying closer to Russia’s borders than usual, as the West is doing everything it can to provoke war with Russia.


More bucks for the MIC! Wonder if the Marines have enough insulated panties for the woke members…(pun intended)

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