The Adjutant General's Department
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2010
MULTISTATE EXERCISE BRINGS MILITARY AND CIVILIAN FORCES TOGETHER
Local, state and federal first responders and National Guard units from Kansas and Nebraska will join forces for an eight-day exercise in Salina July 11-18. Operation Smokey Hill will take place at Crisis City at the Great Plains Joint Training Center, the Saline County Emergency Operations Center and other sites in Salina, testing civilian and government response to a domestic terrorism scenario.
The training portion of the event will begin with a table-top exercise on July 12, which will involve state and Saline County agencies. On July 13, personnel and equipment will be deployed to Crisis City and other locations to work through simulated terrorist attacks in realistic training venues.
“This is the kind of ‘get-your-hands-dirty’ training that benefits everyone,” said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “In real world situations, civilian and military responders must work together, so it makes sense that we should train together. We can see how the other person responds, what they do, how they operate. When we all understand the roles that each agency plays in these events, it helps make our response and recovery operations safer and more efficient.”
The exercise scenario will involve requesting support from Nebraska by the afternoon of July 13. This will fulfill one of the primary goals of this exercise, which is to provide certification training for the Nebraska National Guard’s new Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package. The CERF-P assists first responders with casualty search and extraction, decontamination and medical triage in the event of a terrorist attack.
The CERF-P, although located in Nebraska, could be called on to assist officials in Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, as well. Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy; Brig. Gen. Judd Lyons, Nebraska adjutant general; Col. Scott Gronewold, Nebraska National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters Operations Director; and Col. Michael Navrkal, commander of the Nebraska National Guard’s 92nd Troop Command, will visit on July 18 to observe the CERF-P exercise evaluation.
Other agencies that will be participating in Operation Smoky Hill include the Kansas National Guard, Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Regional Search and Rescue Team, Kansas Civil Air Patrol, Major Emergency Response Group of Wichita, Saline County Emergency Management, Salina Police Department, Salina Fire Department, Salina Regional Health Center and the American Red Cross, as well as representatives from the FBI and Secret Service. Student volunteers from Brown-Mackie College in Salina will also participate, playing the roles of incident victims.