NORAD/Alaskan Command gearing up for NE19

Lt. Col. Tim Bobinski, of Alaskan Command/Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, discusses Northern Edge 17, a joint military training operation scheduled for the Gulf of Alaska May 1-12, 2017, with the Cordova City Council and the public on Dec. 7, in the Cordova Center. Photo by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

Military officials gearing up for Northern Edge 2019 military exercises May 13-24 say final details are still in the works, but that the maritime portion of war games will be in an area 80 nautical miles from Cordova in the Gulf of Alaska.

“We don’t have details yet for Northern Edge 19, but anticipate it will look like NE17,” said Air Force Capt. P. Bryant Davis Jr., who is with the Alaskan NORAD Region/Alaskan Command/11th Air Force at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage.

A military spokesperson was scheduled to give an update on the exercises to the Cordova City Council on the evening of March 6.

According to Davis there will be very minimal overlap of maritime exercises in the Gulf with fishery management areas, and no overlap with salmon areas.

There are no plans at this time to have any military personnel on the ground in Cordova during these exercises, he said.

The NE17 exercises included three Navy ships, including two destroyers and one replenishment vessel. For NE19 there is the potential of a carrier vessel, which would allow for aircraft taking off and landing thee, but this is not yet confirmed, he said.

More final details on the 2019 exercises are to be released 30 days prior to May 13, he said.

Since 2009, the Navy has contributed $3.47 million to marine species monitoring projects in the Gulf of Alaska, he said. “We are making an effort to have as minimal an impact as possible.”

NE17 included no use of bombs or missiles, 28 non-explosive naval gunshells, and 2,500 small arms rounds, he said.