Innovation Readiness Training brings several military units to Alaska

By  | 

(KTVF) - Members of several military units got to see Alaska first hand when they came here for a project last month.

Service members from across the Department of Defense participated in what's called an Innovative Readiness Training project in April. It involved adding an extension to a runway at old harbor, Alaska.

"The mission is to expand the airfield. We're going to provide the crushed rock. About 90,000 tons of crushed material from the hill we're on, we're going to blast this and crush it," said First Lieutenant Kevin Sartor.

The project was a partnership.

"We've been working with the Marine Corps the lead unit, old harbor Native Corporation and their representatives, people from the Air Force, Navy, all the branches, Coast Guard to get us to this point of operating here," said Sartor.

These types of projects are meant to make the soldiers resilient.

"How to live in austere conditions, live out of a tent, duffel bag, eating some army food that's probably not the best, take that forward in their career and have the confidence to say okay, I can go and do any mission," said Sartor.

It also shows how the different branches may do things different ways.

"Working with the community is awesome; working with different branches, how different things operate, how Marines operate as opposed to the Air Force, it's awesome that it can all come together and complete this project. It just shows you we're one fight, one force," said Specialist David Dumas.

The U.S. Marine Forces Reserve-led exercise is part of a civil and joint military program to improve military readiness while simultaneously providing quality services to under-served communities throughout the United States.