• Troopers from the 178th Engineer Company out of Fort Polk, La., treat a "survivor" of a simulated nuclear detonation July 26, 2012, during Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North. During the simulated rescue mission at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., the 178th rescue technicians demonstrated their search and extraction capabilities by treating and evacuating "survivors" from the disaster-training venue.

    Field care

    Troopers from the 178th Engineer Company out of Fort Polk, La., treat a "survivor" of a simulated nuclear detonation July 26, 2012, during Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North...

  • Engineers assigned to the 178th Engineer Company from Fort Polk, La., apply wooden bracing and linked chains to a pillar supporting a collapsed parking garage July 26, 2012, during a Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North. During the simulated rescue mission at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., the 178th rescue technicians demonstrated their search and extraction capabilities by treating and evacuating "survivors" from the man-made disaster-training venue. After rescuing the role-players, who acted as survivors, the 178th troopers secured the building with bracing so they could safely continue the search for additional personnel.

    Securing pillar

    Engineers assigned to the 178th Engineer Company from Fort Polk, La., apply wooden bracing and linked chains to a pillar supporting a collapsed parking garage July 26, 2012, during a Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S...

  • An Army engineer assigned to the 178th Engineer Company from Fort Polk, La., carries a "survivor" through the wreckage of a collapsed parking garage July 26 during Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North. During the exercise at the specialized disaster training facility, rescue technicians from the 178th Engineer Co. demonstrated their search and extraction capabilities by treating and evacuating "sick," "injured" and "contaminated" victims of simulated 10-kiloton nuclear detonation of a major Midwestern city.

    Fireman carry

    An Army engineer assigned to the 178th Engineer Company from Fort Polk, La., carries a "survivor" through the wreckage of a collapsed parking garage July 26 during Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and...

  • Engineers assigned to the 178th Engineer Company from Fort Polk, La., cut wooden bracing to support a collapsing parking garage July 26 during a Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North. During the exercise at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., the engineers stabilized the collapsing infrastructure, treated and evacuated "survivors" of a simulated nuclear-blast area as part of the training venue. During the next week, approximately 5,000 service members and civilians will participate in the exercise with an additional 4,000 arriving in subsequent weeks.  Participating units conduct lifesaving and life-sustaining missions, provide logistics support to a theater of operations and perform technical chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear consequence management tasks and civil support plans.

    Bracing

    Engineers assigned to the 178th Engineer Company from Fort Polk, La., cut wooden bracing to support a collapsing parking garage July 26 during a Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army...

MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING COMPLEX, Indiana (July 29, 2012) -- Responding to a simulated 10-kiloton nuclear detonation, Soldiers from the 178th Engineer Company out of Fort Polk, La., conducted a rescue mission July 28 during Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North.

The engineers worked with other Joint Task Force - Civil Support, or JTF-CS, units to demonstrate their ability to support local, state and federal authorities in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

"The 178th Engineer Company is very proficient at what we do, and in the event something like this were to ever happen, I am confident that we can perform this mission successfully," said 2nd Lt. Michelle Griffin, 2nd Platoon Leader, 178th Engineer Co.

Griffin and her troops were responsible for evacuating nearby survivors and bracing the building so it could safely be searched for survivors.

In the event a real-life scenario were to occur, JTF-CS units are responsible for supporting the civilian authorities who are in the lead to conduct lifesaving and life-sustaining missions, provide logistics support to a theater of operations and perform technical chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, known as CBRN, consequence management tasks and civil support plans.

"Participating in this Vibrant Response exercise is just giving us more experience and tools to add to our skill-sets," said Griffin, a native of Tampa, Fla. "At the end of the day and throughout this mission, we're supporting our neighbors, friends, families and the people in country who need us."

In addition to providing medical care to the survivors during the training venue, the 178th troops coordinated with a nearby chemical company to decontaminate the survivors after being rescued.

Once all the displaced citizens were evacuated from the scene, the engineers secured the collapsed parking garage with bracing materials so they could further search the area for survivors in need of aid.

"It feels good knowing there are people out there who need our help, and we're capable of providing that help for them," said Spc. Kyle Lowmack, a combat engineer assigned to the unit.
Lowmack, one of the first responders on the scene, believes this type of training is important in ensuring unit readiness.

"Being able to execute our jobs and knowing we can help people in their time of need is a humbling feeling; it's what we train for," said Lowmack, a native of Sterling, Neb.

Throughout the next week, approximately 5,000 service members will take part in Vibrant Response 13.

Page last updated Sun July 29th, 2012 at 00:00