Maine Vigilant Guard Exercise 2013 to Kick off Tuesday, November 5
AUGUSTA, ME (10/31/2013)(readMedia)-- Starting Tuesday, November 5 and continuing through Friday November 8, National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, local and state first responders, local, county and state emergency managers, voluntary agencies and multi-national participants and observers will be conducting a large-scale training exercise at venues all across the State of Maine.
The exercise, called "Vigilant Guard," will begin with a simulated ice storm, followed by simulated blizzard conditions and frigid temperatures. Then other training scenarios will unfold all over the State, including simulated bus accidents, potential intruders, bomb threats and other possible terrorist threats, hazardous materials incidents, collapsed structures and cyber security breaches.
Just as in real life, these simulated events will create consequences that will require emergency intervention. In addition, public health officials will test their plans to distribute and dispense of emergency medications, and the American Red Cross will be exercising some of their critical emergency functions.
In the areas where specific training events are taking place, the public may see an increased number of public safety or military vehicles, uniformed first responders and military personnel. Emergency vehicles will not be using lights and sirens, and areas may have signs indicating that an exercise is in progress.
"We are looking forward to an excellent, large-scaletraining opportunity with Vigilant Guard," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "We will be involving not just our own National Guard, State agencies and local responders, but also National Guard units from several other states. Our objective is to learn how we can coordinate seamlessly with outside teams that might be asked to assist us in some future emergency."
In addition to specific training scenarios, communications and computer systems will be subject to rigorous testing. At various times, the scenario will "remove" certain systems, forcing emergency managers to determine how they would use other systems to compensate.
"This exercise not only tests our specific training and equipment, but also our ability to solve unexpected problems in an emergency situation," said Mr. Rob McAleer, director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency.
The State Emergency Operations Center and certain National Guard coordination sites will be active around the clock starting Tuesday, November 5. A short list of additional venues and scenarios follows.
Tuesday, November 5
• Augusta, State House Complex: potential intruder/explosive scenario, beginning at approximately 4:30 pm
• Brunswick, former BNAS: collapsed structure (runs continuously through Friday morning with multi-agency teams participating in the response)
• UMaine-Orono: potential bioterrorism threat
• Calais: hazardous materials incident with cross-border coordination
Wednesday, November 6
• Jackman, Route 201: mass casualty response with cross-border coordination
• Numerous County and local Emergency Operations Center activations
Thursday, November 7:
• Portland Harbor: maritime incident scenario with multi-agency response
Friday, November 8
• Portland: public health drill on pharmaceutical distribution
The exercise ends at noon on Friday, November 8.
The "Vigilant Guard" exercise is part of a series of training sponsored by the U.S. Northern Command and the National Guard Bureau aimed at improving command, control, operational relationships and interagency coordination with local, state and regional civilian and military emergency response partners. Planning for the exercise has been underway for more than a year.