Press Release Index
CONTACT: LTC Paul Fanning 518-786-4581
FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, Sep 02, 2009

National Guard Exercise Continues In Western New York

State, county and city officials to participate in 'Vigilant Guard'

ADAMS MARK HOTEL, BUFFALO, NY (08/31/2009)-- The emergency response exercise known as Vigilant Guard resumes this week with a second table top exercise at the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo for senior officials. Participants will include leaders from the New York National Guard, Erie County, the City of Buffalo and the New York State Emergency Management Office. The first Vigilant Guard table top exercise was run at the Adams Mark on August 12th and was designed for civilian emergency response officials. It was a walk-through effort to help civil authorities envision and then react to an earthquake that strikes Western New York resulting in numerous injuries and considerable damage. The table top exercise ran through the first 48 hours of the disaster and the purpose was to help the various agencies test standing plans, interact with each other and prepare for and seek additional outside help, especially from the National Guard. The exercise scheduled for this Wednesday, September 2 is for policy-level leaders and will also follow the initial 48 hours of the disaster. This exercise will enable senior officials to view the impact of the earthquake scenario on residents and infrastructure within their areas of responsibility so they can consider the kinds of decisions and coordination they will need to make in response. The six-day full scale exercise is set for November 1-6 and will be conducted at different locations in Erie County and in New York City and will involve local civilian and military teams conducting search and rescue and medical evacuation operations and more. The Erie County Emergency Operations Center in Cheektowaga, and the New York State Emergency Operations Center and the National Guard's Joint Operation Center, both in Albany will run concurrent and coordinated command post exercises during Vigilant Guard. Under the scenario, local emergency responders will be quickly overwhelmed by the damage and casualties and local government will seek military support. The purpose of the exercise is to help civilian and military officials in their planning and preparations to speed assistance when and where it is most needed when disaster strikes. Vigilant Guard is a national exercise program sponsored by the National Guard Bureau and United States Northern Command to provide a training opportunity for National Guard forces to for state emergency response and exercise relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners against a variety of different homeland security threats, including natural disasters and terrorist attack. More than 1,000 National Guard troops from New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and other states will participate along with local, state, county and city emergency response units and agencies. It will provide a realistic training opportunity for civilian and military officials to coordinate in order to protect lives and property. Nationally, there are four Vigilant Guard exercises each year. Two exercises are aligned with national-level exercises such as Vigilant Shield and Ardent Sentry. The other two are regional "stand-alone" events, primarily with regional partners. Vigilant Guard will help both the National Guard and civilian leaders practice command and control functions and Defense Support of Civil Authorities with the various government partners through a realistic learning environment to benefit all participants. For more information, contact Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fanning, New York National Guard at (518) 786-4581, Ellen Notarius, Erie County Executive's Office at (716) 858-8500, or Dennis Michalski, State Emergency Management Office (518) 292-2310.
© NYS DMNA Press Release:National Guard Exercise Continues In Western New York
URL: http://dmna.ny.gov/pressroom/?id=1251989776
Page Last Modified: Sep 03, 2009