Military assembles for Alaska exercise

Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Troops, jets and ships are expected to participate in Alaska's largest military exercise of the year, Northern Edge 2009.

The exercise begins Friday.

More than 9,000 troops from all branches of the military will participate.

The exercise is scheduled to last through June 26.

About 200 aircraft, including B-52s, F-16s and Blackhawk helicopters, will be involved. The military hosts the exercises in Alaska because the state offers 120,000 square miles of air space.

The USS John C. Stennis and its carrier strike group will operate out of the Gulf of Alaska during the exercises. The nuclear-powered supercarrier has an air wing of more than 70 aircraft and a crew of 5,000 sailors.

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