Multiple training scenarios will take place on Fort Wainwright today and Wednesday, as U.S. Army Garrison Alaska holds a full-scale exercise called Ice Fog 20. The exercise is taking place amid ongoing exercises Arctic Edge 2020 and Arctic Eagle 2020, which began Thursday and will continue through March 7.
According to a news release, Ice Fog 20 will “test, verify effectiveness and correct any shortfalls in response and recovery to a variety of simulated incidents on Fort Wainwright in an effort to improve safety and protection of personnel, facilities and infrastructure.”
Garrison staff will participate in the exercise, as will local fire, law enforcement and medical emergency first responders.
Members of the public are advised they may see “role-players and emergency personnel with vehicles acting out scenarios.”
Those planning on traveling onto Fort Wainwright should expect delays at the installation gates and anticipate limited access to buildings or areas participating in the exercise. There may also be temporary road closures or detours in the vicinity of exercise events, and access to buildings participating in the exercise will require the showing of an ID card.
The public should also expect to see Nixle text messages or posts on social media about the events in the exercise. The news release states that any Nixle exercise-related messages will begin and end with the words “EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE” in order to distinguish them from real-world events.
Fort Wainwright is not the only part of Fairbanks currently being used for military training. Arctic Eagle 2020, a homeland security and emergency response exercise, is taking place at multiple venues in and around the area, according to Capt. Chelsea Aspelund, a spokesperson for Alaska National Guard.
Aspelund wrote in an emailed response to questions that chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense training is scheduled at the Fort Wainwright Combined Arms Training Facility but that various other locations will be used for other exercises.
“The Fairbanks Armory will be used as the tactical operations center for the Alaska Army National Guard’s 1-297 Infantry Battalion, an academic training center and media operations center,” she wrote.
Civil support teams, which provide response for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear scenarios, will operate out of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Center, she wrote.
Aspelund added that Civil Support Team training events will take place at Lynden Training Center and the North Star Volunteer Fire Department and that a search and extraction training scenario with medical triage will take place at Bassett Army Community Hospital.
Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.