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NEWS | Feb. 6, 2015

Missouri Guard Homeland Response Force conducts simulated disaster response

By Staff Sgt. Nathan Wilson Missouri National Guard

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - North Saint Louis was rocked this week by simulated explosions, chemical attacks, rioting, and structure collapses trapping thousands of people.

Unforeseen incidents can happen anywhere. That's why the Missouri National Guard Homeland Response Force's logistical operations team replicated scenarios at the HRF S4 logistics workshop that were just as daunting as if it were real.

Based on regions established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the St. Louis-based, Region 7 consists of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska and falls under command and control of the 70th Troop Command, the largest brigade in the Missouri National Guard, headquartered at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis County. The external evaluation is realistic disaster training used to prepare for an upcoming validation.

"By testing ahead of the upcoming March evaluation, the planning team is preparing for a higher standard of excellence," said Maj. Nathan Wilde, who manages 25 members of the logistics team who are personally responsible for movement, support, and success of the nearly 600 HRF Region 7 personnel.

Many on the team felt the 3-day training at Lambert's Naval Reserve Air Station in St Louis was both productive and absolutely essential to team cohesion.

"This workshop was a great opportunity for the entire section to come together and train on our new tactical operating procedures and logistics products for the evaluation," said Sgt. 1st Class Josh Elet, HRF supply NCO and an external evaluation veteran. "It also gave our Soldiers new to the HRF logistics team a good understanding of their job duties and responsibilities instead of waiting until day one of the evaluation."

Much like the upcoming evaluation, the HRF S4 workshop tested members in three stages: crawl, walk, and run, with each stage meant to increase in difficulty, but with a teach-first, test-second approach.

"With overseas operations slowing, and emphasis being placed on homeland defense and disaster support, the nation will be turning to organizations like the HRF," said Wilde. "In preparation for tomorrow's challenges, training events like this one will pave the way for both civilian emergency management agencies and the National Guard's disaster response team."

The Region 7 HRF includes elements of the 70th Troop Command: 835th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in Jefferson City; 735th Field Service Company of De Soto; 3175th Military Police Company based in Warrenton; 1175th Military Police Company based in St. Clair; and the 139th Medical Group, an Air National Guard unit based in St. Joseph.