News: Vibrant Response ’14 hits midpoint
Story by Staff Sgt. Timothy Koster
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. – Vibrant Response ’14, the nation’s premiere disaster relief training mission that takes place here and at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Indiana, has hit its midpoint.
VR ’14, which started on July 21, is a major field training exercise directed by U.S. Northern Command and executed by U.S. Army North. 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 the U.S. Northern Command Joint Force Land Component Command (JFLCC), Army North executes timely federal military response in support of civil authorities in disaster area in the homeland to help the American people in a time of need.
The exercise is split into two different iterations with two different missions based on the same scenario – a simulated nuclear attack in a major metropolitan area somewhere in the United States.
The first half of the exercise, which operated July 21-27, focused primarily on training the Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) Response Force (DCRF), which deals with the initial response to a crisis, including helping displaced citizens and starting investigations into who, or what, caused the catastrophes.
“I feel like we’ve been pretty effective in training these guys to do their mission and to be confirmed to do it for another year,” said Lt. Col. Michael Maloney, senior mission oversight for VR ’14.
In total, agencies from more than 28 states and territories participated in the exercise.
“So far, I think Vibrant Response is going as planned,” said Al Garcia, operations chief of the tactical operations center and a Clearfield, Utah, resident. “Especially with the wide range of personnel and capabilities that were brought [here].”
This year also marked the first time the Indiana Department of Homeland Security participated in the multi-agency exercise alongside the Department of Defense (DOD), FEMA, National Technical, Nuclear Forensics (NTNF) Task Force, and the FBI.
“Partnering with the DOD, the National Guard, the state emergency management agencies and learning how we all operate and how we communicate is essential,” said Maloney, “because if this ever actually happened, it would be nice to have a little bit of ground work and some experience that we could build on.”
The second half of the exercise, scheduled to begin on Aug. 1 and conclude on Aug. 9, will focus on the Command and Control CBRNE Response Elements (C2CRE-A and C2CRE-B), which involves more of the long-term program the participating agencies have to help recover the affected area.
For more information regarding Vibrant Response, please contact Randy Mitchell, the Training Public Affairs officer, at email@example.com.