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NEWS | May 16, 2014

Illinois National Guard rehearses earthquake response with Polish Land Forces

By Illinois National Guard

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- The Illinois National Guard hosted a delegation of officers with the Polish Land Forces for a week-long study of military support in domestic operations May 12 to 16 at the Joint Task Force Illinois training operations center, based at the 183rd Air Operations Group in Springfield. The delegation began their trip by participating in an exercise that simulated a 7.2 earthquake in southern Illinois.

The Joint Task Force Illinois exercise was designed to prepare staff elements for rapidly responding to a major earthquake along the New Madrid and Wabash faults in southern Illinois. The Polish delegation engaged in planning and operations functions at every level of the exercises.

The delegation is part of the Illinois National Guard's State Partnership Program. The program is designed to enhance a commander's ability to foster enduring civil-military relationships that improve long-term international security while building partnership capacity. Poland is currently shaping a more robust response capability in support of civilian authorities during natural disasters.

"This was a tremendous opportunity for the Illinois National Guard to demonstrate for our partners from Poland how we plan, prepare and conduct a complex exercise to support civil authorities," said Maj. Doug Coop, State Partnership Program coordinator. "The Illinois National Guard has worked with Poland for the past 21 years on a multitude of security cooperation engagements.

For more than a decade, our units have co-deployed with Polish Armed Forces to Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a dynamic and critically relevant relationship we continue to grow; sharing in the ways we support our civil authorities in times of crisis anchors that relationship in the missions that our critical to both of our nations," added Coop.