News: Sen. Joe Donnelly observes Vibrant Response
Story by Ashley Roy
EDINBURGH, Ind. - Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, observed training and visited with soldiers during Exercise Vibrant Response 13-2 at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Butlerville, Ind., Aug. 5.
Vibrant Response is a major field training exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North. Approximately 5,700 service members and civilians from the military and other federal and state agencies throughout the country are training to respond to a catastrophic domestic incident. As a component of U.S. Northern Command, Army North coordinates timely federal military response to disasters in the homeland to help the American people in a time of need.
Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General of Indiana, hosted Donnelly, escorting him through various training areas as he was briefed on the scenarios being ran.
“The level of detail is breathtaking,” said Donnelly. “What they’ve really done is almost tear it down to the very bolts and try to figure out how to work it, and that’s not only in this situation but in every other scenario you can imagine. We have tried to make sure that whatever could occur in our country; we’re ready to deal with it. That’s what the citizens of our country expect.”
An annual exercise at Muscatatuck, Army North conducts Exercise Vibrant Response to test the capabilities of federal response forces, pushing them to meet the expectations of the nation. For Vibrant Response 13-2, soldiers and civilian responders are training in response to a simulated nuclear detonation in a major U.S. city.
More than 300 Indiana troops are participating in the exercise this year, with upwards of an additional 300 people serving in a support staff role.
During his visit Donnelly was able to speak with some of these Indiana soldiers and other troops from across the country.
“It serves our communities, it serves our state and our country, and I just wanted to come say thank you to the Indiana National Guard and to be supportive,” said Donnelly.
This was Donnelly’s first time visiting Muscatatuck, and seeing the unique training opportunities it provides to military and civilian agencies.
“This is an extraordinary resource for our state. We can be very, very proud of this as Hoosiers, and know this; every American is safer because of what is done here in Southern Indiana.”