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    Key Leader Workshop Strengthens Partnerships

    Key Leader Workshop Strengthens Partnerships

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Helen Miller | The historic Detroit Light Guard Armory building, where the 46th Military Police...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Helen Miller 

    Michigan National Guard

    As the 46th Military Police Command, headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, trains and prepares for its role as the national Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) response team, its leaders know that a key element in making their mission successful is making sure that the units that fall under them are trained and prepared as well.

    National Guard units face some extreme challenges with this kind of mission as they are spread out in several different states and are made up of all components that include both active duty and reserve soldiers. Training together and making sure everyone is prepared and on the same sheet of music can be an issue.

    With this challenge in mind, the 46th Military Police Command (MPC), also known as Task Force 46 when activated for its emergency response mission, hosted a C2CRE (Command and Control Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Response Element) key leader workshop In Detroit, Sept 17-21, 2018.

    The workshop's intent was to build and strengthen individual and unit relationships across all of Task Force 46's formations, to provide command intent and guidance for mission preparations and execution, and to establish a common understanding of standards, policies, procedures and requirements for the mission. The workshop also helped assess overall unit and deployment readiness and identify opportunities to improve readiness with the CBRN Response Enterprise (CRE).

    "The biggest benefit of this workshop is to bring together the experienced units that have been on mission over the previous year and the units that are coming on this mission for the follow-on year," said Brig. Gen. Paul Rogers, Deputy Commanding General, 46th MPC. "We do this in order to exchange lessons-learned and to build relationships where our leaders can communicate and share experiences and help the new units get off to a positive and successful start."

    The National Guard soldiers and units involved in this workshop generally spend their drill time training for what 46th MPC leadership calls, "our nation's worst day", a CBRN attack on U.S. soil. The task force consists of members from National Guard units across 12 states, the U.S. Army Reserve, and active duty. The soldiers need to be prepared to report immediately to their armories, prep their vehicles, obtain situational awareness, and travel to the disaster area. There, they work with first responders to support recovery operations.

    "This is not an easy situation to think about or train for but the units need to be prepared to work together as a team if it happens," said Sgt. 1st Class Lauren Burtts, Readiness Non-commissioned Officer, 46th MPC. "Getting together regularly and having workshops and planning meetings helps the units get to know who they will be working with. The workshop can also help the leadership plan and prepare to be ready when the call comes."

    During the workshop, soldiers became familiar with the mission and discuss National Guard Bureau support, training requirements, logistical requirements, and operational requirements.

    Capt. Jay Falcon is the training officer for the 119th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, (CSSB), New Jersey National Guard; His unit is new to the mission this year.

    "We are the C2CRE response element, we are the ones that can go out and work directly with the public, help them get out of the area, and help assist the first responders in their efforts," said Falcon. "Water, fuel, resupply of food and other issues are the things we will be dealing with. Being able to come to Michigan and get together and talk with the units coming off mission about their best practices helps us from reinventing the wheel and helps us to be able to improve even more on the processes."

    "The key leader workshop is important for many reason," said Maj. Gen. Michael Stone, Commanding General, 46th MPC. "The units coming on this mission are incredibly competent, and many of our units come from hurricane states, which have lots of experience dealing with disaster type scenarios. They also have domestic operation experience. They have the training, but they are new to this particular mission. It's very important to me as the Commanding General for the new units to come meet with the headquarters, to understand the expectations of myself, Lt. Gen. Buchanan and U.S. Army North before they go on mission. Before we get the training we will conduct together."

    Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan is the current commander of U.S. Army North, the land component command responsible for most of North America.

    "I personally enjoy being able to drill down with individual units and their individual readiness problems," said Stone. "We have active duty units, we have army reserve and several states. Not every organizations operates the same, and this gives us a platform to establish expectations. We are here to help them and figure out where there resource challenges are. Some units may have issues with budget or training, or there are logistics complexities,"

    "We are authorized up to 1,500 soldiers for this mission, but we do not have that many," said Stone. "So many of the capabilities that we get are portions of units. We have to be able to get soldiers that are traditional and not full time spun up on the processes and systems so they can take these things back to their headquarters."

    Stone said that this is America's most important mission.
    "This workshop was all about readiness," said Stone. "And you just can't wave a magic wand as a two star general and expect readiness to happen. We all have to work at it together."

    The ultimate goal is to ensure that the 46th MPC is equipped and postured to provide ready, trained and relevant forces to quickly respond to national emergencies in all operational environments.



    Date Taken: 10.05.2018
    Date Posted: 10.05.2018 13:41
    Story ID: 295562
    Location: LANSING, MI, US 

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