Lt. Col. Mickey Kirschenbaum
VOLK FIELD, Wis. – A natural disaster can strike any time, and the National Guard, along with state and county emergency management agencies, will conduct a disaster readiness exercise called PATRIOT North, beginning July 16, 2019.
PATRIOT North is a joint, interagency exercise, sponsored by the National Guard Bureau (NGB), taking place at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center, Camp Douglas, and Fort McCoy, Tomah, Wis. July 15-18. It is a training exercise designed for civilian emergency management and responders to work with military entities in the same manner that they would during disasters. This exercise will test the National Guard’s abilities to support response operations based on simulated emergency scenarios such as a strong storm bringing high winds and the storm surge creating a collapsed building, mass casualties and the need for Search and Rescue along with evacuations of injured. The National Guard, along with local, state and federal partners will be deployed to exercise venues at and around Volk Field practicing the response.
“PATRIOT North provides our Soldiers and Airmen with a chance to improve their skills to respond to a natural disaster and work with emergency management agencies,” said Lt. Col. Roger Brooks, Exercise Director for PATRIOT North. “This exercise will allow all of us prepare for any disaster.”
Brooks added people in parts of Monroe and Juneau counties may see an increase in military equipment moving along roads and interstates, as well as aircraft flying, during the exercise.
There will be a Media tour Tuesday, July 16, 2016 at 1300 at Fort McCoy. Civilian media is invited to observe the exercise activities and get photos and video of the events. Media should contact the exercise Public Affairs office at 775-287-5592 in advance so escorts can be provided. To access the base they should have government issued ID (i.e. driver’s license or passport) and escorts will meet them at the main gate.
More than 700 civilians, volunteers and National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from over 20 states are supporting this year’s exercise. It will also include participating National Guard units from neighboring states, volunteer organizations and county emergency management agencies. The exercise provides the National Guard an opportunity to improve cooperation and relationships with its regional civilian, military and federal partners in preparation for emergencies and catastrophic events.