CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - Alabama National Guardsmen assigned to the 1152nd and 1153rd Firefighting Team Detachment, 877th Engineer Battalion, 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, utilized technical rescue techniques to evacuate injured civilians during a Vibrant Response 13 field training exercise, Aug. 8.

The homeland disaster training exercise, held at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex and Camp Atterbury, Ind., is designed to showcase the unit's ability to support local, state and federal civilian authorities in the event of a disaster in country.

Responding to a distress call from civilian authorities, the Alabama Guardsmen arrived at the scene of a collapsed parking garage and immediately did a reconnaissance of the area.

After identifying possible entry ways from which they could safely rescue civilians, the detachment troopers began clearing rubble and debris from the area so they could safely extract mannequins posing as injured civilians.

"My guys are doing a fantastic job executing this mission," said 2nd Lt. Bailey Bullock, the officer in charge of the detachment. "We train a lot in general, but it's great to see the training we've done for this exercise pay-off as we conduct this exercise."

The former enlisted soldier believes this training event is a good opportunity to showcase the unit's proficient technical rescue skills. Having recently completed a 70-day technical rescue certification course in Florida, Bullock is confident in his soldiers' ability to provide search and evacuation support.

"These guys excel when it comes to search and evacuation operations," said Bullock, a native of Auburn, Ala., and graduate of Auburn University. "In fact, a lot of them are civilian firefighters and have real world experience doing this at (their fire stations)."

Staff Sgt. Joe Hassell, the senior enlisted advisor for the unit and veteran fire marshal at the Sylacauga, Ala., assisted Bullock in overseeing the technical rescue operations during the exercise.

"Whether we're in a fireman's uniform or in the (Army Combat Uniform), we love doing our job and serving the American people," said Hassell, a native of Chileersburg, Ala.

Hassell, who has served as a fireman and soldier for over 20 years, believes the Vibrant Response exercise is a good exercise for the unit to continue their technical rescue training.

"These guys get excited about coming out here and utilizing the skills they learned," said Hassell. "Some soldiers wouldn't be excited about training year-round, but it's easy to lead a bunch like this because they know what needs to be done; and we get it done."

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, the 1152nd and 1153rd Firefighting Team Detachment and other Joint Task Force Civil Support Units stand ready to deploy in country to support to civilian authorities and the American people.

During the Vibrant Response homeland disaster training exercise, JTF-CS 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.

"This is some of the best training me and my guys have received," said Hassell. "In the event something does happen in country, I'm confident we can support (lead civilian authorities) to save lives and complete the mission."

The homeland disaster training exercise, conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North, is scheduled to end later this month.

Page last updated Tue March 19th, 2013 at 00:00