A natural disaster can strike any time, and the National Guard, along with state and county emergency management agencies and industry partners, are conducting a disaster readiness training exercise called PATRIOT this month.

PATRIOT is a joint, interagency exercise, sponsored by the Air National Guard Bureau (ANGB), taking place at Camp Shelby, Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center and Camp McCain, Mississippi, from 18-22 February. It is a training exercise designed for civilian emergency management and responders to work with military entities in the same manner they would during disasters. This exercise will test the National Guard’s abilities to support response operations based on simulated emergency scenarios such as strong storms bringing high winds creating mass casualties, debris, and the need for Search and Rescue along with evacuations of injured.  The National Guard, along with local, state and federal partners will be deployed to exercise venues at and around Camp Shelby practicing the response.

More than 300 civilians, volunteers and National Guard Airmen and Soldiers and Airmen over 20 states are supporting this year’s exercise. It will also include participating National Guard units from neighboring states, volunteer organizations and county emergency management agencies. The exercise provides the National Guard an opportunity to improve cooperation and relationships with its regional civilian, military and federal partners in preparation for emergencies and catastrophic events.

“Training jointly allows National Guard members to provide a synergistic response to any disaster. The National Guard serves a dual role, to protect the homeland in addition to serving alongside the active duty forces across the globe when called upon,” said Lt. Col. Sarah Ashley Nickloes, Exercise Director.

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