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                 July 22, 2011


Patriot Exercise held at Volk Field, McCoy

By Maj. Nancie Margetis, 183rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The largest annual National Guard training exercise is under way at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center and Fort McCoy.
PHOTO: Col. Matthew Moorman of the Ohio Air National Guard briefs Wisconsin’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Photo by Senior Airman Amy N. Adducchio
Col. Matthew Moorman of the Ohio Air National Guard briefs Wisconsin’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) during the domestic operations portion of the 2011 Patriot Exercise July 13 at the Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center. This is the first year that the DMAT — a volunteer-based force that responds to disasters in Wisconsin — is participating in Patriot. Photo by Senior Airman Amy N. Adducchio

Patriot 2011 is an international large-scale training exercise bringing community and federal agencies together with military organizations from several states and three countries. Units are working to develop best practices and refine emergency responses for a variety of contingencies, from terrorist threats to train accidents and exposure from hazardous material spills.
Some of the scenarios require more specific environmental arrangements. To enhance the realistic effect for participants in those cases, elements of the training, like invasion of a terrorist safehouse by FBI and National Guard security force personnel will take place at nearby Fort McCoy, which already has a suitable facility built for that purpose.

National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will work alongside federal agencies, including the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspectors, FEMA and the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Wisconsin Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Their aim is coordination of incident response, medical triage and patient care, search and extraction, control of hazardous materials and logistics that includes movement of equipment.

A primary goal of Patriot 2011 was successful movement and validation of an equipment package used in response to disasters involving chemical biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives. These materials, emergency response force packages, are in place in multiple regional locations throughout the nation, ready for ground transport.

The National Guard Bureau’s Crisis Action Team also will lead participants in simulated scenarios enabling them to hone skills that track and treat casualties, dispel terrorist threats, coordinate air transport, control crowds and decontaminate affected areas and persons.

This is significant because it teaches independent organizations with similar or dependent missions to communicate in ways that foster mutual understanding, making it easier to get things done when it is most critical.

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