Testing Center


The Alpena County Regional Airport and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC), Michigan Air National Guard, are establishing themselves as a premier location to perform unmanned aerial systems and advanced flight systems development and testing. ACRA is striving to attract civilian sector platforms while the CRTC is focused on military training and operations.

Possessing the largest amount of military and restricted airspace east of the Mississippi River, and supported by advanced DASR radar and tracking systems technology, Alpena CRTC has the potential to become the destination of choice for the Department of Defense and its contractors. The DASR radar and tracking systems are used by both Minneapolis and Cleveland centers to control and direct airborne craft.

Launch and recovery support for military UAS is being actively pursued by the CRTC, which may eventually allow flight systems testing, mission training, and DoD validation testing.

Our proximity to Camp Grayling, a 147,000 acre live fire installation, offers an unparalleled authentic four season joint mission testing and training environment.

Alpena annually hosts NORTHERN STRIKE, a combined Close Air Support (CAS) and Air to Air training exercise. NORTHERN STRIKE is one of the largest regional joint training events held in the United States. During this period over 300 small and medium sized UAS missions were conducted around Grayling and Alpena.

Alpena CRTC has developed a 1 square mile box of airspace specifically for small military UAS missions. This airspace provides a template for a proposed 4 square mile civilian UAS area of operation. When completed this area would be capable of supporting conventional, maritime, hand, and catapult launched aerial systems.

If your mission requires academic or aerospace supply chain support, Alpena’s UAS research partners include; The University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Northwest Michigan College and Alpena Community College. Numerous aerospace industry suppliers are only a short distance away.

If your organization is interested in exploring any of the opportunities that are available at the Alpena County Regional Airport please contact us.