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Colo. National Guard to kick off ‘Vigilant Guard’ exercise in Colo. Springs July 22 
By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
air-ground communications 

View from a helicopter: A firefighter coordinates ground efforts at the Black Forest fire in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 12, 2013. (Photo by Air Force Capt. Darin Overstreet/RELEASED)

Click here or on the photo to download a high-resolution file.

More Vigilant Guard videos and photos are available on DVIDS and Flickr.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Colorado National Guard Public Affairs

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

In order to maintain the integrity of the exercise for participants, more specific details surrounding each exercise day will be released no more than 24 hours in advance.  

*** PUBLIC ALERT: From July 22-26, uniformed military members and civilians will be conducting emergency-response exercises in various locations in Colorado. All exercise scenarios are simulations for the purpose of training. Guardsmen may be seen wearing chemical protective equipment. Any questions or concerns can be addressed to the Colorado National Guard Public Affairs office at ng.co.coarng.list.staff-pao2@mail.mil or 720-250-1053. ***

For Assignment Editors: For the most up-to-date information about this exercise, follow @CONG1860 and #VGExercise on Twitter or visit the Colorado National Guard website http://co.ng.mil.

Supporting links: Fact sheets, file photos and other supporting information are available at http://bit.ly/1dI0oXR


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