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    Guardsmen, civilians primed up for PATRIOT North 2016 exercise

    Military medical components wrap up PATRIOT North preparation

    Photo By Andria Allmond | Capt. Jennifer Beverage, from the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond  

    Volk Field ANGB

    Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond
    111th Attack Wing Public Affairs

    VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Wis. -- Army and Air National Guardsmen from around the country are readied alongside their regional civilian counterparts to kick off exercise PATRIOT North 2016 here, July 16.

    PATRIOT North is an annual multi-day domestic operations exercise based on simulated natural disasters and associated incidences generated to test participants’ reaction, response and integration.

    Scheduled July 19-21, according to Lt. Col. D.J. Spisso, the PATRIOT North exercise program director for the National Guard Bureau, a successful exercise requires three core items. The first two items are military upgrade training for National Guard participants and professional networking.

    “Networking is big. When you’re able to network, you’re able to learn about how others work,” said Spisso. “Maybe [someone else has] a better way of doing something; or maybe you can offer them a better way of doing things.”

    The last, and perhaps most critical point cited by Spisso, is the action of fostering associations between military and civilian cohorts.

    “I think that these exercises give us the opportunity to communicate with our civilian partners; because if something like [these exercise scenarios] were to happen, we’re working for the civilians. So it helps us to understand how we fit into that system and build those relationships, instead of meeting for the first time at an incident.”

    While the military will function as key players in the exercise, they will be one piece of the puzzle. The training scenarios were developed by National Guard Bureau civilian contractors, but will be executed by the veteran-based Team Rubicon – a civilian domestic and international disaster response team.

    “Experience for the civilian incident management team is a key item,” said Ryan Kennedy, lead planner for the PATRIOT North exercise program. “In addition to exercising with the military, it is an opportunity for them to exercise with each other, which they don’t always have time to do.”

    Kennedy, who has served as a civilian planner for previous PATRIOT events, stated that seemingly minor discrepancies -- like acronym usage -- became a considerable roadblock in the past. “It can delay operations and cause confusions and redundancies,” he said “So even minor things like that have a major consequence.”

    Kennedy continued by stating that ironing out those seemingly minor issues, while tackling major operational missions, is the target of PATRIOT. And like Spisso, he acknowledge to hit that target, military and civilian collaboration must be seamless.

    “Generally speaking,” Kennedy declared. “The three big takeaways are providing a chance for military and civilians to become familiar with each other’s processes, learning about each other’s capabilities and [understanding] how to communicate with each other.”



    Date Taken: 07.16.2016
    Date Posted: 07.16.2016 16:22
    Story ID: 204165

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