The Air Force Academy recently hosted a portion of the national 'Vigilant Guard' exercise. The exercise brought together army national guard units and local county search and rescue personnel. Jon Zanone has more. Also available in high definition
WHEN AN AIRCRAFT GOES DOWN
IT TAKES A TEAM TO RESCUE THE SURVIVORS. IN THIS CASE, THE TEAM WAS MADE UP OF ELEMENTS FROM THE COLORADO ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY AND THE LOCAL EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF'S SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM. THEY ALL CAME TOGETHER ON THE GROUNDS OF THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY TO EXERCISE THEIR ABILITY TO WORK TOGETHER.
LT. COL. (COLORADO ARMY NATIONAL GUARD) MITCH UTTERBACK, EXERCISE PLANNER: "AND A SIGNIFICANT GOAL OF THIS EXERCISE IS JUST TO KEEP WORKING TOGETHER AND STAY FAMILIAR WITH EACH OTHER, UNDERSTAND EACH OTHERS TACTICS AND TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES EVEN BETTER".
SINCE THE TWO THOUSAND TWELVE WALDO CANYON WILDFIRE GRAZED THE ACADEMY, FIRST RESPONDERS HAVE DEVELOPED PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER. THAT TRANSLATES TO A MORE FOCUSED RESPONSE.
RON HELGERSON, ACADEMY FIRE CHIEF: "I JUST WORKED WITH THEM AT THE BLACK FOREST FIRE, AND WE'VE HAD SOME OTHER INCIDENTS RECENTLY, WHERE IT'S THE SAME FOLKS. AND ITS REALLY ENHANCED OUR ABILITY TO DELIVER, WHETHER EMS CARE, OR FIRE SUPPRESSION RESOURCES OR RESCUE CAPABILITIES ACROSS THE FRONT RANGE. IT'S NOT JUST ON THE ACADEMY".
UTTERBACK: SO IN THE EVENT SOMETHING HAPPENS FOR REAL, WE JUST ROLL RIGHT INTO IT. WE KNOW WHAT TO DO, AND WE KNOW THE PEOPLE ON OUR LEFT AND RIGHT AND WHAT THEIR CAPABLE OF DOING.
THAT AWARENESS OF EACH OTHER'S CAPABILITIES SHOWED DURING THE MULTI-AGENCY RESPONSE TO THE BLACK FOREST FIRE.
UTTERBACK: "IF THERE WAS ANY RED TAPE IN BLACK FOREST, NOBODY SAW IT. BECAUSE THINGS WERE HAPPENING SO QUICKLY, COMPARED RELATIVELY TO THE RESPONSE TIME FROM LAST SUMMER."
HELGERSON: "AND IT REALLY IS NEAT TO HAVE ALL THESE DIFFERENT AGENCIES WORKING TOGETHER DAY TO DAY, SO THAT WHEN WE HAVE A REAL INCIDENT, WE'RE REALLY JUST PLUGGING AND PLAYING AND GETTING OUT THERE TO THE PATIENT WHO NEEDS THE CARE."
JON ZANONE, THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (7/21/13) – The Colorado National Guard is in the initial phase of a large-scale, multi-state, multi-agency emergency response exercise in the Denver and Colorado Springs metropolitan areas.
Named “Vigilant Guard,” the exercise will officially begin July 22 in Colorado Springs and is focused on interagency coordination in preparation for domestic emergencies and catastrophic events.
July 22 exercises will include a mock plane crash and a search and rescue mission hosted by the U.S. Air Force Academy Fire Department and taking place at their training area.
Colorado Army National Guard helicopters will insert military and civilian first responders and K-9s into a remote location, where responders will be conducting a search-and-rescue mission involving a simulated downed aircraft. Moulaged patients will receive medical treatment from interagency responders. Patients will then be transported via Colorado National Guard Humvee ambulances to a simulated hospital on Fort Carson.
Additionally, Army National Guard helicopters and Fort Carson firefighters will conduct water drop training operations at Fort Carson. The training will emphasize air-ground communications.
The entire week’s exercise scenarios, which have been planned since 2011, are based on a wildland fire with urban interface, and will include severe weather including tornadoes. Just as they would in real life, these notional events will create a number of consequences that will require emergency intervention. Participants will exercise their knowledge of and expertise in storm damage assessment; hazmat identification, abatement and decontamination; search and rescue; patient extraction; triage; medevac; and other emergency-response measures.
Sponsored by U.S. Northern Command in conjunction with the National Guard Bureau, Vigilant Guard will provide the Colorado National Guard and supporting military units an opportunity to improve cooperation and operational relationships with their local, state, private sector, non-governmental organizations and federal partners.
National Guard units from Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming will be participating.
Locations for the exercise will be:
July 22: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center, Fort Carson Airfield and U.S. Air Force Academy Fire Department
July 23 Media Day: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center, North Metro Fire Training Complex, Denver Health Medical Center, Community College of Aurora, Exempla St. Joseph Hospital and Bonfils Blood Center
More specific details about this day, including the most visually stimulating events and times, will be released separately.
July 24: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center, North Metro Fire Training Complex, West Metro Fire Training Center, North Suburban Medical Center, University of Denver, Denver International Airport, Community College of Aurora
July 25: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center, North Metro Fire Training Complex, Porter Adventist Hospital, Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
July 26: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center
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COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, US
This work, USAFA Supports Vigilant Guard, by Kevin Conroy and Jon Zanone, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.