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    National Guard Goes Airborne And Waterborne For Training Exercise


    Photo By Staff Sgt. Steven Eaton | George’s Island, Mass. – U.S Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Beckford prepares to...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Brett Walker 

    65th Press Camp Headquarters

    Boston – The Massachusetts National Guard invited many of its federal, state and municipal partner agencies to participate in a statewide, multi-day training exercise for domestic emergency response starting on Nov. 5, 2018. The training scenario for the first day involved a domestic terrorist leaving an improvised bomb on an island in Boston Harbor and then threatening violence on a ferry boat back to the mainland.
    The training event, called Vigilant Guard 2018, was planned by the Massachusetts National Guard for improving its ability to respond to domestic emergencies in partnership with federal, state and municipal partners. The Coast Guard, FBI, State Police, Boston Police and Boston Fired Department are all participating in Vigilant Guard.
    “It is truly a joint, interagency effort and it has to be that way,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffery Winn, Commander of the Massachusetts National Guard’s Civil Support Team, which is a team of fulltime airmen and soldiers trained to respond to domestic emergencies. “Each agency brings a different set of skills and a different set of tools to the fight.”
    The bomb was detected on George’s Island, which is about 7 miles from Boston. Massachusetts National Guard aviators flew the initial response team to the island in U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters. The reconnaissance of the initial team determined the bomb was emitting radioactivity, which prompted the call for a Stabilization Team. The Stabilization Team consists of representatives from the National Guard Civil Support Team, the FBI’s bomb technicians, the State Police Bomb Squad and the Boston and Cambridge Police Departments.
    The Boston Fire Department used one of its boats to transport the Stabilization Team to George’s Island. The Fire Department’s boat then remained in the area to pump water to the response location of the bomb. Other Fire Department units remained at the Boston Harbor where they performed decontamination on live role players.
    The Coast Guard Auxiliary transported additional troops and equipment across Boston Harbor as part of the multiagency effort. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is an organization of volunteer mariners who assist the Coast Guard and other government organizations to keep the waterways safe. Their missions range safety checks to search & rescue operations. “We do absolutely everything the regular Coast Guard does except direct law enforcement and combat,” said Alan Missell, the crew coxswain.
    The National Guard is responsible for countering threats on foreign soil as well as in the homeland. As domestic threats become increasingly sophisticated, so must the response.
    “No agency could do this on its own,” said Winn.
    Vigilant Guard will continue for the rest of the week. Events will take place across the state from Cape Cod to Gillette Stadium to Westfield in western Massachusetts.



    Date Taken: 11.05.2018
    Date Posted: 04.03.2019 20:31
    Story ID: 316837
    Location: MA, US

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