‘Northern Lightning' training offers joint scenarios at Volk Field

Hands-on training for hundreds of service members

‘Northern Lightning' training offers...

VOLK FIELD, Wis. (WKBT) - A joint military training exercise in our area is providing hands on experience with current and future technology.

Volk Field is hosting units from the Air Force, National Guard and Navy for the annual 'Northern Lightning Counterland' training exercise. The training mission director says the opportunities offered at the annual event combines multiple forms of combat into one.

"We are able to offer up both impact ranges, electronic warfare ranges, and the aircraft that can simulate enemy aircraft. So really they're able to combine all air-to-air and air-to-ground missions into one scenario,” said Northern Lightning Exercise Director Chad Milne.

Many pilots taking part in the event are getting some hands-on experience with the F-35 before the aircraft becomes widely used. The testing pilots say the aircraft has the ability to keep everyone safer.

"I'm able to bring a lot more situational awareness to the fight that maybe even the MaCS, or the Marine Control Squadron that's out here, even they may not see everything that's going on that the F-35 does,” said 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron Director of Operations Nicholas Ihde.

The two-week long event hosts hundreds of service members each year. Training officials say the event brings in more than $54-million to local economies each year.

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