Alaska's National training treasure JPARC

  • Published
  • By Air Force Staff Sgt. Clinton Kincade
  • Northern Edge 2009 Joint Information Bureau
Military servicemembers working in the joint military training exercise Northern Edge 2009 have a unique opportunity to train in some of the most diverse environments available in the world. 

The training conducted in the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range Complex (JPARC) lies among rivers, mountains, and forests stretching 67,000 miles across the sparsely-populated areas of the Alaska interior and stretches another 44,000 miles into the Gulf of Alaska. 

The JPARC, located mainly in central Alaska, with the additional huge maritime portion extending over the Gulf of Alaska, consists of military training airspace, maritime air and surface training space, and land area live-fire training ranges. 

"The JPARC brings the unique aspects of Alaska -- large, all domain, training space, robust base infrastructure, and a culturally-friendly environment for military training -- into the joint military training resource mix for all of the Department of Defense," said Mr. Steven Hatter, Alaskan Command's Joint Training and Ranges Administrator. 

"Alaska has in place the infrastructure to support an elaborate exercise such as Northern Edge, with air, land, maritime, space, and cyber space domains leveraged with very little concern of encroachment or interference," Hatter said. "The JPARC mission is to provide a highly realistic and effective environment for combat aircrew, ground crew, and command staff, who can focus on joint warfighting skills." 

During the two week air-centric exercise in Alaska, servicemembers from around the globe are given the opportunity to use the JPARC's unmatched capabilities for a full spectrum of joint warfighting combat tactics and procedures.
"The JPARC includes, among many other qualities, an $80 million investment that affords our military an urban training scenario with austere landing conditions allowing strategic airlift to go in, land, offload troops, accomplish pararescue drops, and provide close air support (to ground troops)," said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, commander of Alaskan Command and 11th Air Force. 

One in a series of U.S. Pacific Command exercises in 2009 to prepare U.S. forces to quickly respond to a crises in the Asia Pacific region, Northern Edge 09 is designed to sharpen skills; practice operations, tactics, techniques, and procedures; improve command, control, and communications; and build upon joint interoperable plans and programs.