Southern Strike 2018
Around 1800 service members from both the active and reserve components of every branch of U.S. Military service are participating in Southern Strike 2018, a joint combat exercise staged in Gulfport from October 23rd through November 3rd.
Southern Strike will familiarize these troops with combat search and rescue, personnel recovery, maritime operations and aeromedical evacuation along with many other scenarios.
These training exercises are staged along the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast and residents might notice increased military presence and operations during this time frame. Southern Strike Programs Director David Sutherland said, “They’re actually having to strategize and plan like they would in a real combat situation so it can actually get very intense because other people are shooting back at them in this event with semi-munitions or blank-fire weapons. It gets very intense for the ground teams because they have to shoot, move, communicate, and flex their missions on the fly to make sure they’re doing what they need to do for their objectives.”
Southern Strike is the largest Air National Guard led and hosted exercise that incorporates special operation forces and conventional forces in one battlefield.