Selfridge participates in regional Vigilant Guard exercise

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  • By 127th Public Affairs
Selfridge Air National Guard Base recently participated in partnership with various Michigan counties and organizations during a week-long joint emergency management consequence training exercise called "Vigilant Guard 2010" June 14-17.

The interagency training included numerous scenarios ranging from a worldwide "Dragon Flu" pandemic, a tornado in the Battle Creek area, hazardous materials (HAZMAT), numerous white powder packages being delivered to local military installations, and the security of critical infrastructure and key resources including points of distribution (PODs) of pharmaceutical supplies and vaccines. The scenarios were designed to strain recourses and test the capabilities of local, state and national response organizations to include the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) - the process where governors reach out to other governors for assistance.

More than 2000 personnel from approximately 50 organizations, including personnel and resources for the FEMA V Region, participated at five venues throughout southern Michigan.

Personnel from all military branches at Selfridge Air National Guard Base participated in the exercise scenarios. With a mock flu pandemic, the 127th Wing tested its new telephone alert system, designed to automatically contact each wing member in an efficient and quick manner. The new system calls phone numbers provided to the units by 127th Wing personnel for quick recall and continues to call the numbers provided - be they work, home or cellular - until the member is reached and received the appropriate message.

Selfridge personnel were also tested in response methods with regard to the delivery of white power packages. Military members retrieving the tainted mail source were assessed in reporting, control, and response to the substance. Firefighters reported to the scene of one delivery and donned HAZMAT gear to contain the substance and also erected the contamination control area through which to process contaminated personnel.

Major Brian Davis, 127th Wing plans officer and Vigilant Guard Venue 5 Lead, continuously briefed commanders from the Michigan National Guard Joint Force Headquarters and representatives from US Northern Command on Team Selfridge capabilities for domestic operations. With 44 tenant agencies and numerous community partners ready and willing to volunteer in the event of any contingency, Team Selfridge units boast tremendous untapped capabilities to help in the event of a large scale emergency in Michigan.

After noting, "Selfridge Air (National Guard) Base is one of the most diversely populated National Guard Bases I have seen to date," a Joint Task Force Commanders Course Instructor from NORTHCOM invited Brigadier General Michael Peplinski, 127 Wing commander, to bring his perspective and experience to NORTHCOM to help teach other general officers how to operate in joint communities.

During the Vigilant Guard exercise, the 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard, the Detroit Arsenal - Army, Macomb County Emergency Management, and the Department of Homeland Security all led scenarios providing critical training for southeast Michigan and Selfridge ANGB. Community partners like the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army helped support volunteers from the Michigan Volunteer Defense Force and CERT during the Vigilant Guard week as well. Through the exercise, Team Selfridge Commanders and community partners demonstrated that they are committed to identifying all capabilities in and around Selfridge to ensure response readiness for whatever contingency or crisis the future may hold.