• Michael Gomez, a role player, gives Sgt. Charles June a bottle of water Aug. 7, 2012, after being "evacuated" from an abandoned building by Staff Sgt. Noah Kelly during an annual training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind. The two Soldiers are assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana National Guard. The training served to help the unit to prepare to assist the American public if ever called upon in the aftermath of a disaster. The Indiana Guardsmen were able to jump into Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North, for their annual training requirements.

    Water

    Michael Gomez, a role player, gives Sgt. Charles June a bottle of water Aug. 7, 2012, after being "evacuated" from an abandoned building by Staff Sgt. Noah Kelly during an annual training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind. The two Soldiers...

  • MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. - As part of annual training with the Indiana National Guard, Army Pvt. Josh Honeycutt, inspects a bottle of pills, Aug. 7, 2012, before giving it to one of the "citizens" living in an abandoned building at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., during Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North. Honeycutt is a medic with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana National Guard. The Guardsmen were able to participate in the huge national training exercise already going on in Indiana, as their annual training requirement. For the day's mission, Guardsmen went door-to-door as part of a mandatory evacuation mission ordered by the "governor" to get residents out of "contaminated" and "structurally unsound" buildings and into a safe facility.

    Medicine

    MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. - As part of annual training with the Indiana National Guard, Army Pvt. Josh Honeycutt, inspects a bottle of pills, Aug. 7, 2012, before giving it to one of the "citizens" living in an abandoned building at...

  • As part of annual training with the Indiana National Guard, Sgt. William Watson, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, tries to convince David Brown, a civilian role player, to leave the building he and others had been living in, Aug. 7, 2012, at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., after a nearby simulated nuclear detonation, during Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North. Watson serves with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana National Guard. The Guardsmen were able to participate in the huge national training exercise already going on in Indiana as their annual training requirement. For the day's mission, Guardsmen went door-to-door as part of a mandatory evacuation mission ordered by the "governor" to get residents out of "contaminated" and "structurally unsound" buildings and into a safe facility.

    Talking

    As part of annual training with the Indiana National Guard, Sgt. William Watson, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, tries to convince David Brown, a civilian role player, to leave the building he and others had been living in, Aug. 7...

MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. (Aug. 9, 2012) -- In the aftermath of a simulated nuclear attack on a major Midwestern city, "survivors" took up residence in abandoned buildings and started to rebuild their shattered lives.

The buildings, however, were deemed unsafe and needed to be vacated. Thus the "governor" called upon the Soldiers of Companies A and B, 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, 38th Infantry Division, Indiana National Guard, to try to persuade their fellow citizens of the need to leave contaminated or structurally unsound buildings and move to a safer location.

The Guardsmen conducted a mandatory evacuation training mission Aug. 7, at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., as part of their annual training requirements during Vibrant Response 13, a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North. Army North observer controllers and civilian role players assisted the infantry Soldiers with their training to make it more realistic.

It is unique missions such as this one that the Guardsmen must be ready to perform if called upon by their states.

The 2nd Bn., 151st Inf. Regt., 38th Inf. Div., located in South Bend, Ind., responds to emergency situations within Indiana and the continental United States.

"The important thing is to be compassionate," said Sgt. William Watson, with Co. B. "These are Americans; we cannot force them to leave. This could be your grandma; we are not at war with them -- we want to help them."

The unit can quickly get to areas in need, said Spc. Thomas Snowden, with Co. B.

"Our unit is designed as a National Guard reaction force," said Snowden. "We respond to disasters within the United States."

Snowden's first sergeant agreed with his assessment.

"As National Guard Soldiers, our primary mission is to help the American people," said 1st Sgt. Robert Darringer, senior enlisted adviser for Co. B, referencing the "displaced citizens." "These people need our help. They have gone through hell. They are hurt, scared and angry."

While the 151st is not officially part of Vibrant Response 13, the Soldiers were able to take advantage of the availability of the role players and U.S. Army North observer controllers to
make their training more authentic.

"When we arrived here for our training, we talked to the folks at Army North and told them our training requirements," said Darringer. "Due to a lull in their training, they were able to help us make our training more realistic so it benefited everyone."

The exercise role players were glad to add to the realism of the scenario.

"This training helps the Soldiers get ready for a real-world situation," said Ryan Hankins, a role player from North Vernon, Ind. "The more realistic we, as role players, can make it, the better prepared they will be if they have to do it in real life."

The unit is fortunate to be able to "fall in" on the tremendous training resources available at Vibrant Response 13, said Staff Sgt. William Velez, an Army North displaced citizen controller.

"The 151st's training requirements fit in with what we are doing at Vibrant Response 13," said Velez. "We are training to help civilians in times of crisis, so it was beneficial to all to help the National Guard with their training."

More than 9,000 service members and civilians are taking part in Vibrant Response 13 from July 25 to Aug. 13 at the unique disaster training area at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center and the various training areas and airfields in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky.

Page last updated Mon August 13th, 2012 at 00:00