CAMP BUTNER, N.C. -- Soldiers of the 3rd Military Information Support Battalion took part in a civil support exercise here last week to test how they would response to an emergency and support other federal entities by producing and disseminating life-saving information following a natural disaster.
Maj. Brian Horvath, operations officer for the 3rd MISB, designed the event to test the unit's ability to assess information, create print, video and radio broadcast materials, and distribute those materials to a civilian population affected by a disaster.
Other agencies involved in the training included a tactical psychological operations detachment from the 9th MISB, two Marine military information support operations teams and personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Participants came to Camp Butner to provide support following a notional earthquake that ravaged the Raleighl area. With FEMA as the lead federal agency, 3rd MISB used its organic dissemination capabilities while incorporating the varied capabilities of attachments to train on potential life-saving actions as a task force.
As part of their training, they published messages from the notional governor via loudspeaker, developed and distributed handouts from the Red Cross, and provided food and water deliveries to earthquake-affected areas by sling load.
Pfc. Keisha Brown, a combat camera photographer with Company C, 3rd MISB, shot aerial photography to capture imagery of roadways, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure in support of a domestic imagery request from the office of the notional governor. The imagery collected allowed damage to be assessed to determine the extent of local effects of the simulated earthquake that rocked the area.
While the training relied heavily on role players and simulated or notional events and damage, participants said the exercise's training value is real. Units produced print, radio and video products using their unique multimedia production capabilities.
Marine Staff Sgt. Ronald Caudle, a military information support operator with the Marine Corps Information Operations Center in Quantico, Va., provided operators to engage with role-players to simulate interactions with news media during the crisis response.
"For my Marines ... this training was essential. This is exactly what they'll be expected to do real-world when they deploy soon," Caudle said. "The opportunity to integrate with the Army and other agencies, and this humanitarian assistance disaster relief type mission, is exactly what they will face downrange."