SGT Michelle Campbell receives and submits updates during the FTX.
Hampton, Georgia, April 2, 2013, By WO1 Jim Zegers - Officers and enlisted personnel of 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade of the Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) participated in a field training exercise (FTX) with the Henry County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) at Nash Farm Battlefield on Saturday, March 9, 2013. Troops from 2nd Battalion joined personnel from the EMA and Henry County Police Department to participate in a missing person scenario (Mattie’s Call). The day revolved around a simulated exercise run in conjunction with the actual field portion.
“As part of our ongoing Search and Rescue training, we continually test our command and control capabilities, communications, and ability to work in conjunction with County Emergency Personnel to achieve a mission. What it all comes down to though are the skills and professional capabilities of the individual soldier,” said Maj. Michael Kent, Commander of 2nd Battalion. Capt. Cedric Fernandes, 2nd Battalion Training and Operations Officer, added “the Henry County EMA Staff has gone above and beyond, working to not only integrate us (GSDF) into their Emergency Operations Plan, but to help to enhance our training opportunities as well”.
Henry County EMA Director Don Ash stated “As I have stated previously, this is partnership is a great investment with the GSDF. We now have had a few opportunities to work in conjunction with them (GSDF) and found them to be an asset our emergency management team”. “We also discovered today additional roles we will work to implement during upcoming training exercises, all in all, a very good day.”
Henry County Police Special Operations Lt. Simmons lent his expertise in Incident Command and provided additional insight into the overall investigation process, enabling the FTX to take on a secondary event the GSDF was required to respond to. Lt. Simmons remarked that emergency responders often are tasked with multiple tasks while in the field- a search for a missing person can often result in a second call for another missing individual. It’s up to the Incident Commander to re-balance their assets to deal with the new task.
Submitted by CPT Cedric Fernandes – S3 Training & Ops Officer – 2BN/1BDE GSDF