LATHAM, NY (06/03/2009)(readMedia)-- More than 350 New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from around the state will train with the experts of New York's Urban Search and Rescue Team, known as New York Task Force-2, during training exercises Saturday, June 6 at the Office Of Fire Prevention and Control's Urban Search and Rescue Center in Albany.
Dubbed Empire 09 Plus, the exercise piggybacks on the New York State emergency response exercise which kicked off on June 2 and ends June 4. It will also involve Stratton Air National Guard Base which will act as the reception center for personnel and equipment flowing into the Capitol Region on Friday, June 5.
WHO: More than 300 Soldiers of the Army National Guard from Buffalo, Lockport and Auburn and the Capitol Region; 50 members of the volunteer New York Guard from the New York City area; and 50 New Air National Guard members from across the state.
WHAT: Exercise Empire 09 Plus, a Defense Support to Civil Authorities Exercise involving the New York Air National Guard, the New York Army National Guard, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and New York Task Force 2, the state's urban search and rescue team, which is run by the Office of Fire Prevention and Control.
The National Guardsmen and women, and the New York Guard volunteers are part of the state's CERFP; a team especially trained to extract victims from buildings destroyed in chemical, biological, radiological, or very high explosive attacks, decontaminate them, and provide basic medical assistance. CERFP stands for CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, high-yield Explosive) Enhanced Response Force Package. New York is one of 17 National Guard's to field this special team.
WHERE: Friday: June 5: Stratton Air National Guard Base, Scotia New York- Reception and Staging
June 6: The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control Urban Search and Center, 4240 Albany St., Albany, New York. Journalists should park in the Mabey's parking lot.
WHEN: Friday, June 5: 3:15 p.m. at Stratton Air National Guard Base
Saturday, June 6: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Urban Search and Rescue Training Site.
Members of the Media who wish to cover the operations at Stratton Air National Guard Base should contact Major Jody Ankabrandt at 518-344-2396 for access to this secure military facility. An alternate contact will be Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo at 518-225-6637 (cell)
Members of the Media who wish to cover the operations at the Office of Fire Prevention and Control Training site should contact Mr. Eric Durr at 518-786-4581 or (cell) 518-429-5186. Also on-site contact Capt. Shawn Shutts at 518-225-6649.
For questions about the Office of Fire Prevention and Control Urban Search and Rescue Team contact Lauren Rivera at 518-486-9846.
Friday June 5:
Convoys from Buffalo and Lockport should begin arriving at Stratton Air National Guard Base between 3:30 and 4:30 on Friday. There will be Engineer Soldiers from A Company 27th Brigade Support Battalion and Military Police from the from the 102nd MP Battalion in Auburn, the 104th MP Battalion in Kingston and the105th MP Company, from Lockport. They will be housed and fed by the 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton. Members of the media will be able to talk to Soldiers and Airmen arriving from other areas and talk to the local Air Guard members who are responsible for the reception of these individuals.
Visual opportunities will include vehicles arriving at the base, and Soldiers and Airmen in-processing by "swiping" a magnetic card through a reader.
Army National Guard Lt. Col. Martin Dinan, the commander of the CERFP, and a resident of North Greenbush, will be available for interviews.
Saturday June 6:
Members of the CERPF will be extracting "victims" from the "rubble' of a destroyed building in conjunction with the members of the Office of Fire Prevention and Control Urban Search and Rescue Team. The National Guard Soldiers doing the extraction are combat engineers. The victims will be transported to a personal decontamination line run by military police and members of the New York Guard. Their medical status will be determined by members of Air National Guard Aeromedical teams who will then begin treatment.
Armed members of the Air National Guard will be ready to provide site security.
Visual Opportunities will include the extraction teams working in the "rubble," victims made up with kits called "moulages" to look like they are injured; and Soldiers and New York Guard members in protective suits scrubbing down victims in an assembly-line process.
Members of the CERFP, Lt. Col. Dinan, the CERFP Commander, National Guard leaders and State Fire Administrator Floyd Madison and Fire Prevention and Control Special ServicesChief Bryant Stevens, will be available for interviews on site.
New York National Guard CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP):
The New York National Guard's CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) consists of 300 Soldiers and Airmen and 50 New York Guard volunteers. It is one of 17 such units in the United States.
Its mission is to mobilize and deploy with equipment to provide civilian emergency first responders with additional CBRNE casualty extraction, decontamination and triage for the evacuation and initial treatment assessment of victims of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high explosive or other hazardous materials incident. The National Guard regularly trains these elements to support civil authorities. Last May the CERFP trained with the New York City Fire Department.
The duties of CERFP rotate among Army National Guard units. Currently the extraction team consists of A Co. 27th Brigade Support Battalion, a combat engineer company that normally supports the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The Decon elements are comprised of members of the 105th Military Police Company, and the command and control element comes from the headquarters of the 102nd Military Police Battalion. The New York Guard's 88th Brigade provides additional decon line personnel and the medical personal come from New York Air National Guard elements trained to deploy at a moments notice to provide medical care.
Office of Fire Prevention and Control Urban Search and Rescue Team, NY-TF2:
New York-Task Force 2 is a Type I Urban Search and Rescue team modeled after a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team. The Team responds to all types of rescue and disaster emergencies. Current membership stands at 120 people mostly from the career and volunteer Fire Service.
The team is directed and deployed by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and is able to be a self sufficient mutual aid resource to both state and local agencies for up to 72 hours. NY-TF2 brings its own resources for Haz-Mat, Medical, Logistical, Communications, Technical Search and Rescue. It also has four K-9 live victim search teams which will deploy to find live victims buried under debris and numerous other types of incidents.
Empire 09 Plus:
The Empire 09 Plus exercise is being conducted as a complement to the New York StateEmpire 09 exercise that involves more than 550 federal state and local first responders in a 3-dayfunctional exercise in the Capital Region. The exercise allows the New York Army and Air National Guard to test their ability to enter a disaster site to relieve or supplement civilian first responders. Empire 09 Plus will involve almost 400 members of the National Guard in on-site and command and control functions. Along with the members of the CERFP, National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will go through the logistics and command and control functions necessary to move a force from outside the area into the Capitol Region.
The National Guard's Joint Incident Site Communications Capability System communications link, last deployed to support the inauguration of President Barack Obama, will be part of the exercise, as will the Guard's state-of-the-art Joint Operations Center in Latham.
New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Dennis Deeley coordinates the confined space extraction of casualties with incident commander Chief Don Hayde from the New York City Fire Department's Special Operations Command during a joint interagency training event in May 2008 between the FDNY and the New York National Guard at the FDNY's fire training academy on Randall's Island in New York.
A member of 1st battalion 258th Field Artillery stands watch as Guardsmen and members of the New YorkCity Fire Department work to save casualties during an exercise in New York City in May 2008.
Members of the New York Army National Guard train in the skills needed to extract victims of an attack at Fort Indian Town Gap earlier this year.