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    Indiana National Guard holds full-scale disaster response exercise

    Indiana National Guard holds full-scale disaster response exercise

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Tackora Farrington | An Indiana Air National Guardsman discuses mission plans with civilian counterparts...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Tackora Farrington 

    Indiana National Guard Headquarters

    BUTLERVILLE, Ind. -- More than 500 soldiers, airmen and civilian, emergency response personnel from throughout the Hoosier state exercised Indiana's response to a catastrophic earthquake and the ensuing chaos, including cyberattacks, staged at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center Aug. 13 to 15, 2021.

    The Indiana National Guard, in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Task Force One, Indiana Office of Technology and other state and local partners, teamed up to conduct a training event focusing on team level operations to increase proficiencies from state leadership down to the lowest level first responders.

    "The National Guard has a dual mission," said Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles, Indiana's adjutant general. "In addition to providing war fighting troops to the president, we also have a state mission. This dynamic multiagency training is exactly how we ensure our force is ready and reliable at all times."

    Chaos following a natural disaster can come in many shapes and sizes, such as ransomware.

    In the exercise scenario prior to the earthquakes, local media reported several ransomware attempts across local infrastructure. Shortly after the large earthquake received national publicity one main water supply went offline, denying water to the northern half of the city. At the same time an employee reported his computer mouse moving on its own. The city is then confronted with a ransomware of $5 million to restore water plant functions.

    "Conducting these exercises highlights the strength of the cybersecurity structure that exists within the state and underscores the work that's been accomplished over the past three years by Indiana Governor Holcomb's Executive Council on Cybersecurity with our partners in the military, academic, public and private sectors," said Indiana Department of Homeland Security Executive Director Stephen Cox. "Most importantly, it represents the progress with cyber that's been achieved on behalf of all Hoosiers when we approach cybersecurity as something that is not solved by one entity alone, but by everyone at all corners of the state."

    Simultaneously there were multiple building collapses reported from the earthquake, increased civil unrest and chemical spills across the city all receiving dedicated efforts of relief coordinated by the established joint incident command post.

    "It is always nice to come to a training area that has a location dedicated to structural collapse," said Tom Neal, the program manager for Indiana Task Force One. "Skills are perishable, the more we interact with teams like the National Guard here the more prepared we are if something like the Surfside condo collapse occurs, so we can be force multipliers in that recovery mission."

    The exercise scenario provided a realistic training opportunity for units to collectively train, share tactics and procedures via a scalable and nested weekend exercise.

    "Watching all these moving parts come together is truly priceless," said Col. Tamala A. Saylor, the 181st Intelligence Wing commander. "This level of coordination and complex domestic response training is how we will save lives during the real crisis."

    The Muscatatuck Urban Training Center offers users a globally unique, urban and rural, multi-domain operating environment that is recognized as the Department of Defense's largest urban training facility serving those who work to defend the homeland. Muscatatuck is a real city that includes a built physical infrastructure, a well-integrated cyber-physical environment.

    "This has been a great exercise for all of us because we are learning so much," said Toby Liff a Monroe County Fire battalion chief. "Naturally, we know some things they don't know, and they know a lot of things we don't know. So when we get together it's always mutually beneficial."


    Date Taken: 08.16.2021
    Date Posted: 08.16.2021 12:42
    Story ID: 403161
    Location: INDIANA, US

    Web Views: 446
    Downloads: 2