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Delaware National Guard joins disaster response exercise

By Staff Sgt. Katherine Miller | 166th Airlift Wing | Nov. 19, 2019

NEW CASTLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Del. – The Delaware Air and Army National Guard joined active-duty Air Force personnel in Total Force, Joint Training Exercise Diamond Wing, a disaster response drill, Nov. 14.

In the exercise, units from the First State worked together to respond to a simulated statewide disaster. The training event included the launch from Dover Air Force Base of a C-5M Super Galaxy loaded with DNG assets.

Cargo, vehicles and personnel from the DNG's 31st Civil Support Team were loaded and transported in addition to other DNG Army and Air Guard vehicles and personnel.

"This drill is significant because this exercise is a total-force exercise," said Col. Carla D. Riner, 166 Airlift Wing commander. "It's truly the entire state and our capabilities coming together through this exercise. That makes it very, very special to have different sets of capabilities through the Air Force and the Army all work together for a total force."

Members from the 166th AW inspector general unit evaluated the exercise to document successes and suggested improvements for future training and real-world missions.

The National Guard is prepared to respond and support incident commanders in any disaster. Training like Diamond Wing allows the Delaware Guard to showcase the capabilities of Citizen Guardsmen.

"We had transportation elements that would support movement of equipment and commodities to people in need and points of distribution that could be established," said Lt. Col. Garland Pennington, Delaware National Guard Joint Operations Center director. "We train and exercise, so when we do get the call for a real-world incident, we're prepared, we know each other and what we need to do to meet the mission in support of our citizens."