☷Pennsylvania Guard Conducts Homeland Response Force Exercise
National Guard ( By Press Release office)
| 16| 2
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP , Pa . – Pennsylvania National Guard members of the state’s Homeland Response Force conducted a training exercise Nov . 17 - 20 . Almost 400 Soldiers and Airmen from Army and Air National Guard units from across the state participated in the exercise , which included mission command and field elements at Fort Indiantown Gap’s “rock pile . ” The scenario for the exercise was a chemical , biological , radiological or nuclear event in a large city , said Lt . Col . Robert Cuthie , executive officer of the HRF and officer in charge of th......e exercise . “These exercises enable us to practice conducting mission command so that everybody in the room understands when we get called up to deploy , we understand exactly how to communicate and work together , but also how to work with civilian agencies , ” Cuthie said . “We have a new system that we’re getting the service members used to , to conduct mission command , ” he said . “So , the Soldiers are training on that software and learning how to incorporate it into our command post so they can use it to share information and ensure everyone has a common operating picture . ”The HRF , with a full - time staff of about 30 service members , typically conducts exercises twice a year . But most of its members only train together during these two exercises , Cuthie said . “Most of these people come together for this event and get to know each other and they practice their procedures . We build our [standard operating procedures] and we prepare all of our equipment for if we were to be called up , ” said Cuthie , commander of 2nd Squadron , 104th Cavalry Regiment , 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team . “We’re always teaching new people what their job is , how they can integrate and be part of the team . ”At the rock pile – a heap of concrete slabs , damaged vehicles and other debris meant to simulate the aftermath of a bombing or CBRN event – service members from the 3rd CBRN Task Force practiced tasks they would employ at a collapsed structure . That included drilling and cutting through concrete , moving large debris using crowbars and pipes , and shoring up unstable objects . “We have a fairly new team , ” said Staff Sgt . Jacob Van Keuren , search and extraction training noncommissioned officer with the 3rd CBRN Task Force . “We’re getting them acclimated to working in their ( protective ) suits because there’s very limited dexterity . ”Van Keuren said exercises like this are very beneficial , especially with so many new task force members . “It’s great to have them going through the motions , getting hands - on experience , especially in their suits , because these are very perishable skills , ” Van Keuren said . “It’s just like any other military task: You need to do the task to get proficient at it . ”
24 November 2022 ( November 24 2022 )
Press release information:
Direct link to press release
: Click here .