News: 106th Rescue Wing to practice search and rescue operations this weekend
PLUM ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Department of Homeland Security Plum Island Animal Disease Center welcomes members of the New York Air National Guard for training here, April 13.
Airmen from the 106th Rescue Wing, based in Westhampton Beach, will conduct a unit Operational Readiness Exercise on Plum Island. The training will include military personnel simulating search and rescue techniques. Air National Guard aircraft involved will include the HC-130 combat search and rescue aircraft and the HH-60 Pavehawk search and rescue helicopter. The exercise will run all day and may employ visible smoke flares on the eastern end of the island.
The 106th Rescue Wing had previously used the island's helicopter pad for touch-and-go landing operations on other occasions.
Plum Island management understands the need to drill. "The preparedness organizations derive through drills and exercises is essential to how resilient they will be in times of crisis," said Kevin Reilly, integrated emergency programs manager at Plum Island, who is coordinating the event with the 106th Rescue Wing.
Reilly also has a personal connection to the 106th Rescue Wing, having served with them while a member of the New York Air National Guard from 1997 to 2010. At Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Reilly is in charge of emergency preparedness, including leading the island's drills. "This is a great opportunity for Plum Island emergency management teams to observe how another agency conducts a large-scale drill," Reilly added.
To maintain preparedness, the Plum Island Incident Management Team regularly drills and activates the Plum Island Emergency Operations Center to ensure readiness so the team is experienced and equipment is well tested for an actual emergency. Many of these drills take place with other agencies and organizations such as the FBI, the Coast Guard, police and fire departments, and hospitals to facilitate interagency cooperation and communication.
About Plum Island Animal Disease Center
Plum Island Animal Disease Center is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate laboratory that is managed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Agricultural Research Service and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) to support inter-related programs in the protection of U.S. livestock from the accidental or intentional introduction of foreign animal disease that can seriously threaten livestock industries, food safety and our economy.
About the 106th Rescue Wing
The 106th Rescue Wing deploys worldwide to provide combat search and rescue coverage for U.S. and allied forces. We are a world-class team of diverse, adaptable personnel recovery focused war fighters. Our mission is to provide worldwide personnel recovery, combat search and rescue capability, expeditionary combat support, and civil search and rescue support to federal and state authorities. We provide Personnel Recovery to the state of New York and deployed operations that we are tasked to support.