Fort Riley Military Police conduct homeland defense training during Vibrant Response 13
March 19, 2013
MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. - Responding to a distress call from local civilian authorities, soldiers from the 116th Military Police Company out of Fort Riley, Kan., conducted a search and evacuation exercise Aug. 3 at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., as part of Vibrant Response 13.
Upon entering a village devastated by a simulated nuclear-blast, military policemen and combat medics assigned to the MP Company showcased their ability to treat and evacuate role-players and mannequins posing as "survivors."
"The whole time I've been in the military, we've been at war training for Iraq and Afghanistan," said Staff Sgt. Lee Rutledge, a squad leader from the MP Company. "Transitioning to this homeland defense mission is not only refreshing for us troops, but it's another way we can help Americans."
Rutledge led a group of military policemen through the village to triage, treat and evacuate wounded civilians. Throughout the entire process Rutledge was providing calm and encouraging words to the survivors.
"No matter how bad this situation is we're trained to care for these people and give them hope," said Rutledge, a native of Walla Walla, Wash. "It may sound corny, but sometimes saying 'it's going to be all right' is just what a person needs to hear during hard times."
As part of Joint Task Force Civil Support, the 116th MP Company stands ready to deploy in country, conducting search and evacuation operations in support of the Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force mission.
Throughout the past week of training, approximately 5,000 service members and civilians participated in the exercise, which is designed to conduct lifesaving and life-sustaining missions, provide logistics support to a theater of operations and perform technical CBRN consequence management tasks and civil support plans.
Spc. Jonathan Kelley, combat medic assigned to the MP Company, assisted in providing medical care to wounded civilians who were non-ambulatory during the village training venue. Prior to loading the immobile patients into field litter ambulances for evacuation, Kelley ensured their tourniquets and bandaging were secure for transportation.
"It's cool to participate in an exercise like this," said Kelley, a native of Brandon, Miss. "We're using the skills we learned during our training exercises to assist us in helping out the survivors here."
Kelley also added that it helps to have strong leaders like Rutledge when you're executing these types of operations.
"[He] is a really good squad leader, and has provided me with a lot of positive guidance since I entered the military and joined this unit," said Kelley.
After all civilians were treated and evacuated, the Fort Riley troopers departed the simulated area and went back to their operations center on Muscatatuck to prepare for their next training venue.
The Vibrant Response homeland disaster training conducted by U.S. Northern Command is schedule to end later this month.