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NEWS | Oct. 2, 2023

Utah Army, Air Guard Train in Joint Preparedness Exercise

By Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Perez, 151st Air Refueling Wing

SALT LAKE CITY - Members of the Utah National Guard emergency management and weapons of mass destruction civil support teams trained together in a preparedness exercise at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base Sept. 20. 

The scenario for the Air and Army National Guard members was a simulated weapons of mass destruction incident aboard a KC-135R aircraft. 

“Joint exercises like the one with the Utah Air National Guard and the Utah National Guard CST provide us invaluable opportunities to work together, learn from each other, and enhance our response capabilities,” said Senior Master Sgt. Julia Dandurand, emergency management superintendent with the 151st Air Refueling Wing. “During wartime, we become the first responders, specializing in handling various hazards. In both scenarios, our goal is to keep everyone safe.”

EM personnel respond to hazards, from natural disasters to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.

Integrating different units and disciplines is crucial for the success of emergency management. The goal is to move from conducting joint exercises to establishing an integrated response paradigm. In this vision, during emergencies, a CST member may collaborate with an EM expert as part of the same entry team, harnessing the strengths of both disciplines to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

“Joint integration is key. Operating with joint partners will do nothing but make you a better performer and enhance your skills,“ Dandurand said. “We want them to take new ideas away from us, and we want to take new ideas away from them. It just makes us better, whether we’re at home station or abroad.”

The joint exercise was a testament to the importance of collaboration in emergency management. Both teams showcased the dedication and expertise to respond effectively to various threats. 



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