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NEWS | April 30, 2024

Maryland Guard Joins Homeland Disaster Response Exercise

By 1st Lt. Jasmine Mathews, 29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT CARSON, Colo. - Over 45 Maryland National Guard Soldiers are providing public affairs and logistics support during the Vibrant Response 24 exercise in Colorado April 19 to May 3. 

VR is an annual U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command-directed command post exercise planned with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal and state partners.

The training enabled military units to work with federal and state agencies to validate their response to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear event. U.S. Army North, in coordination with U.S. Northern Command and the Department of Homeland Security, has conducted these annual exercises since 2008.

“The Maryland National Guard proudly supports Army North’s VR exercise, enhancing the Department of Defense’s readiness for chemical , biological, radiological and nuclear event response,” said U.S. Army Col. Bradley Martsching, the commander of Maryland National Guard’s 58th Troop Command. “Our logistical and public affairs support to the exercise underscores our capability to assist our active-duty partners in national-level events, showcasing our commitment to seamless collaboration and effective crisis management. This collaboration reinforces the Maryland National Guard’s integral role in bolstering national security and readiness.”

During the scenario-based training, Soldiers from the Maryland National Guard’s 29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment are providing public affairs support to Joint Task Force-Civil Support. This includes interacting with media role-players, drafting news releases, and engaging on social media simulation platforms. Soldiers from the 58th and 581st Troop Commands processed over 350 participants for Phase 1 of the exercise and provided logistical support to the exercise as Mayor Cell at Fort Carson.

“As a fellow service member in the National Guard, I was really proud to know that an Army National Guard unit was coming here to manage our mayor cell and provide public affairs support,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Sherman, commanding general, Task Force 51 and deputy commanding general–support for U.S. Army North.

He said the public affairs assistance was outstanding.

“The public affairs scenario training certainly helped me and my TF-51 senior leaders with media training and realistic press conferences that asked the difficult questions,” Sherman said.



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