Dual status commander clears a path for unified disaster response
Posted: 2015-08-27 03:30 PM
The Minnesota National Guard's Vigilant Guard exercise stepped up its real-world relevance on Aug. 24, 2015, when the Commanding General of the 34th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Neal Loidolt, was appointed as the exercise's Dual Status Commander.
The magnitude of the simulated incidents integrated into the Vigilant Guard exercise - including a chemical spill from an overturned railcar, massive landslides, flooding and other events that could affect Minnesota communities - prompted a fictional declaration of a state of emergency by the federal government. The scale of the emergency response, in addition to federal assets being committed to the disaster relief efforts, necessitated the need for a single commander to coordinate military efforts.
Vigilant Guard Improves Civilian, Guard Emergency Responsiveness
Posted: 2015-08-27 10:15 AM
More than 1,400 participants from the Minnesota and Wisconsin National Guard joined approximately 500 participants from state, federal and local emergency response agencies to participate in the Vigilant Guard exercise from Aug. 24 to 28, 2015, at three training sites across the state; Duluth, Camp Ripley and St. Paul.
At Camp Ripley, the exercise took place at the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility. Twenty-four buildings and more than 200 cameras allow users to record live training from almost any vantage point.
Guard Aeromedical Teams strengthen skills during Vigilant Guard
Posted: 2015-08-26 03:10 PM
During natural disasters or other state emergencies, saving time saves lives. If civilian capabilities are overwhelmed, National Guard and other military resources can be called upon to quickly move critical patients from remote areas to medical facilities. The capabilities of the Minnesota National Guard's 109th Aeromedical Squadron were a natural fit for Vigilant Guard, a state-wide exercise testing the ability of military and civilian organizations to work together.
"Our role in the exercise is to stabilize and transport patients from the field to higher echelons of care," said 109th AES Director of Operations Air Force Maj. Jeramy Browning. "We strive to provide the best care in the air. Our highly trained flight medics care for sick and wounded patients, maintain their health and well-being aboard the plane - getting them to the definitive care they need."
Minnesota National Guard Joint Communications Platform supports exercise
Posted: 2015-08-26 09:30 AM
DULUTH, Minn.- The 148th Fighter Wing's Joint Communications Platform (JCP) was on-scene at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC), Duluth, Minn. Aug. 25 2015 to support the Red Cross as part of Vigilant Guard 2015, a National Guard Bureau-U.S. Northern Command initiative that is intended to foster and enhance cooperation between National Guard and state interagency partners.
"We're here to support and demonstrate what our capabilities are. It [the JCP] provides data and radio, telephone communications, and we also have army and civilian internet," said Master Sgt. Tom Walden, 148th Fighter Wing information technology specialist. "We're demonstrating it to the people that are coming down here to check out the Red Cross' exercise, so they know that the capabilities are there and they can ask for our support if they need it."