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    The Florida National Guard Continues to Lead in Hurricane Responses

    The Florida National Guard Continues to Lead in Hurricane Responses

    Courtesy Photo | Brig. Gen. Rafael Ribas, Director of the Joint Staff, awards Staff Sgt. Paul Gearen...... read more read more

    STARKE, FL, UNITED STATES

    01.07.2017

    Courtesy Story

    Florida National Guard Public Affairs Office

    Jan. 7, 2017 – St. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - After successfully responding to several hurricanes over the years, Florida National Guard continue training to ensure the best response for the citizens of the state. Just months after Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew struck the state of Florida, the Florida National Guard Joint Operations Center participated in a hurricane training exercise to evaluate lessons learned from the most recent hurricanes.

    “The Florida National Guard is taking lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Hermine and are applying them to an exercise format so we can quickly incorporate new technologies and ideas to supporting our citizens,” said Brig. Gen. Rafael Ribas, director of the joint staff.

    Prior to the 2016 hurricane season it had been over a decade since Florida had a hurricane strike the state. The response to last year’s hurricanes were based on lessons learned from over a decade ago and as state and local governments change leadership and policies, it is important to revisit the response the Florida National Guard provides to make sure it is suitable for everyone involved to protect life and property and to maintain peace, order and public safety.

    Approximately 3,500 Soldiers and Airmen were activated to provide support during Hurricane Matthew while only around 200 were activated in support of Hurricane Hermine.

    Capt. Shane Whitaker, the battle captain for the exercise explains, “This training emphasized our standard operation procedures and how they relate to current situations. It identified potential gaps in our plan and sparked good conversation between the multiple staff elements. All in all, our end state is to provide better service to the citizens of Florida and our local, state, tribal and federal partners.”

    The Florida National Guard Joint Operations Center Exercise utilized twenty three separate military specialties and incorporated elements from the Army, Navy, and Air Force during the training.

    “The training is so good, that when doing it for real storm responses, you can’t tell the difference,” said Senior Master Sgt. Allison Allwyne, mission manager for the Joint Operations Center. The Florida National Guard is known throughout the country as the gold standard for hurricane preparation and response, so training continues to be realistic and involved.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 01.07.2017
    Date Posted: 03.06.2017 12:49
    Story ID: 225851
    Location: STARKE, FL, US 

    Podcast Hits: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN