Top National Guard General Pays Visit To Camp Grayling

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  • By Cody Boyer
  • Reporter
"This is my first time to visit Northern Strike and it is premiere. No doubt about it."

A special visit from the chief of the US National Guard, in time to catch the summer's largest military training.

Four-star General Frank Grass is the chief of the United States Army and Air National Guard.

Today, he paid a visit to Michigan's largest military base to check out the facility.

General Grass and other national guard leaders toured Camp Grayling in Crawford County and Alpena County, including a stop at the Air To Ground Range in Frederic.

9&10's Cody Boyer and photojournalist Melvin Kimbrough spoke with the general about why he visited Camp Grayling, alongside the major general.


General Frank Grass and the adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard inspected Camp Grayling today.

They got front row seats to some of the hardest training this summer.

"It is premiere, no doubt about it," Gen. Grass said.

Four-star General Frank Grass is the 27th chief of the National Guard Bureau.

He also serves as military adviser to the president.

"Yesterday, we had an opportunity to fly around Camp Grayling," Gen. Grass said. "I'm amazed at how large it is and with the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center there to see how that's tied into this. It's amazing."

This morning, General Grass got to see the action of National Guard men and women firsthand as they trained in Operation Northern Strike.

"What was really amazing to me is the behind-the-scenes, the preparation," Gen. Grass said. "You see the rounds going down range, the bombs dropping, the men going and the women going on target down in the valley. All of the work that goes on to make sure everything is safe behind-the-scenes is the same thing that happens in combat."

Major General Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard, joined him.

"We are blessed here in Michigan to have this outstanding training complex with Alpena, Grayling, 147-thousand acres, 22-thousand acres of ranges," Maj. Gen. Vadnais said.

Gen. Grass says the size of the National Guard is decreasing, nationwide.

That's why he says joint-maneuver bases like Camp Grayling are very important.

"We all know the world is not that safe of a place and we could be called at any time to deploy," Gen Grass said. "These men and women are really the best of the best, no doubt about it."

The generals also met with the chief of the Latvian defense today.

This year marks 23 years working alongside Latvian forces.