US Army to Hold Major Alaska Exercise

Photo from Cold Weather Leader Course, Alaska
Photo from Cold Weather Leader Course at the Black Rapids Training Site in Alaska in 2023. (Photo: US Army /John Pennell).

Next week, the 11th Airborne Division will conduct its annual regional combat training center exercise in Alaska. “This exercise demonstrates the effectiveness of our Arctic training," says Major General Brian Eifler.

The US Army has announced that it will hold a major military exercise in Alaska at the end of the month. 

From March 27 to April 5, the 11th Airborne Division will conduct its annual regional combat training center exercise in Alaska, Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Alaska (JPMRC).

Arctic training

“This exercise demonstrates the effectiveness of our Arctic training and ability to face a near-peer threat in an Arctic environment,” states Major General Brian Eifler, 11th Airborne Division commanding general, in a press release. 

“Our Soldiers are trained to deploy on short notice and operate effectively in the deep Alaskan winter," he adds. 

The exercise focuses on training for deployment operations in an Arctic environment. It is designed to validate the ability to rapidly deploy a brigade-sized force package quickly and integrate with external elements, according to the news release. 

The JPMRC exercise focuses on large-scale combat operations and is a cold-weather training event that includes situational training and live-fire exercises designed to build cold-weather and mountain-proficient forces prepared for employment within the U.S. Army Pacific area of responsibility. 

This exercise will further validate the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division’s cold weather training readiness and capabilities, current equipment cold weather capability, and provide detailed feedback and observation of current equipment sets.

"The Arctic is probably one of the harshest environments of all environments on the planet. If we do not have a capable or ready force that can operate and potentially fight in the Arctic environment, that is really not good deterrence", Major General Eifler told High North News in an earlier interview.

As previously reported, the US Army released its first-ever Arctic strategy in 2021. The US Army is currently implementing this, and in doing so rebuilding Arctic capabilities – due to changes in the geopolitical environment, i.a.

Troops from the US Army Alaska in Northern Norway
Major General Brian Eifler, U.S. Army Alaska commanding general, (left) in Northern Norway last year. Troops from US Army Alaska conducted training in Norway in relation to the larger exercise Swift Response 22. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ian Morales, 4-25 IBCT (A) Public Affairs). 

8,000 personnel

JPMRC 23-02 includes participants from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, HIMARS from the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment; and other enablers from across the Army.

Roughly 8,000 personnel will have roles in the exercise, with a command element from the 11th Airborne Division, along with support elements from the 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division; the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment; and the 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

An augmented battalion from the 1/11th “Arctic Wolves” brigade will act as the opposition force, providing a realistic and challenging opponent to test Arctic tactics, techniques, and procedures. 

Military vehicles and personnel will be moving between Fort Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and the Eielson Air Force Base before and after the exercise.

Also read