GULF OF ALASKA (KTUU) - Joint military training exercise Northern Edge concluded Friday after two weeks of operations with the Air Force, Marines and the Navy.
An F-18 landson the USS Theodore Roosevelt during Northern Edge 2019. (KTUU)
For the first time in a decade, a Navy aircraft carrier was part of the training.
"The Arctic is strategic terrain for the defense of our homeland, and protecting U.S. northern approaches is critical to our national security," Rear Adm. Dan Dwyer said.
Dwyer commands Strike Group 9, of which the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is the central component.
More than 5,000 servicemen and women are based on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, making up about half of the total military personnel involved in Northern Edge 2019.
"What's unique about training in the Alaska op area is we get to exercise at the very highest level," Dwyer said. "The ranges provide a unique opportunity for all services, and when you can come together and train as one team and train side-by-side at the very high end, it just increases our capability, our readiness and our lethality."
The military presence in the Arctic is not only to respond to acts of war, but also to protect trade routes.
"The US Navy is deepening our commitments in the Arctic and operations in Alaska to ensure freedom of navigation and that the Arctic remains conflict-free," Rear Adm. Dwyer said.
Watch below with a 180-degree view of an E-2 Hawkeye landing, and an F-18 launching from the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Watch with a VR headset to experience in 3D.