U.S. Navy ship scheduled to visit Homer for Exercise Northern Edge 2017

An Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Hopper (DDG 70) visits Homer from April 28-30 as part of Exercise Northern Edge in the Gulf of Alaska. Hundreds of sailors will get shore leave and participate in community service projects, excursions, sporting events and explore local culture and sites, the Alaskan Pacific Command said in a press release.

Another destroyer, USS O’Kane (DDG 77), and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200) also are scheduled to participate in Exercise Northern Edge 2017 in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, May 1-12.

O’Kane is expected to make a port visit to Juneau, May 12-14.

During Exercise Northern Edge 2015, approximately $13 million was brought into the state of Alaska due to the additional military personnel, support contracts and port visit, the press release said.

Northern Edge is a biennial training exercise conducted in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, which includes the area within the Gulf of Alaska, as well as land and airspace within the state.

Northern Edge includes participation from several commands, including Alaskan Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 3rd Fleet, Marine Corps Forces Pacific, U.S. Army Pacific, and others.

The exercise is planned to involve approximately 200 aircraft at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Eielson Air Force Base, along with Hopper, O’Kane and Guadalupe.

Hopper and O’Kane are multi-mission surface combatants, capable of anti-air, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare missions. They operate independently or in support of carrier and expeditionary strike groups. They are homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They are the same class of destroyer as Decatur, the ship that visited Homer in June 2011.

Guadalupe is a Navy Military Sealift Command ship that supplies Navy surface combatant ships at sea, providing fuel, food, and other critical supplies that enable the fleet to remain at sea, on station and combat-ready for extended periods of time.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.