Coast Guardsmen from two northern Michigan port cities boarded and re-took a ship from terrorist control here in early April, part of a major military exercise that involved some 1,100 troops.
The Coast Guard teams, from USCG Stations Charlevoix and St. Ignace, conducted the exercise aboard the USS Mackinaw Maritime Museum, located on the Straits of Mackinaw in Mackinaw City.
“The team’s mission was to secure the ship and verify the radiological alarm. This type of mission is not uncommon for the teams, they are typically given a two-hour notice to board a ship,” said USCG Chief Warrant Officer Chris Royal.
The purpose of the exercise was to give Coast Guard from the two northern Michigan stations the opportunity to test several of their policies in a real-world arctic scenario.
Volunteers from the off-duty crews from each location participated in the exercise. While both stations are part of the Coast Guard’s Ninth District command, it is not common for two different stations to combine to form one team to board a ship.
“This will be the first time using two different crews to do the same mission. They should follow the same procedures, so I expect a well-executed mission,” added Royal.
Arctic Eagle 16 is a National Guard led, joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational exercise based on the President of the United States, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, state of Alaska and international partners’ Arctic strategies. It is conducted in live and constructive environments, focused on humanitarian assistance, consequence management and infrastructure protection.
“Any opportunities we have to integrate with the Michigan National Guard is a win for us”, Royal said. “We have ships coming in all of the time and this type of training introduces us to some of the capabilities of the Michigan Guard.”