By Staff Sgt. Austin L. Thomas, JFHQ-NCR/MDW Public AffairsApril 3, 2017
The 911th Technical Rescue Engineering Company (TREC) conducted platoon validation with interagency partners March 19 - April 2 at the Center for National Response in Gallagher, West Virginia.
"The 911th trains on five different technical rescue disciplines," said Capt. Brittany Clark, commander, 911th TREC. "Rope rescue, confined space, structural collapse, trench, and mine and tunnel rescue. At this facility our rescuers can practice all of them."
The 911th TREC is comprised of combat engineers, firefighters, horizontal and vertical construction engineers and various support military occupational specialties who receive training and certification as rescue technicians and mine rescuers. They are on a short response time to deploy anywhere in the National Capital Region.
"Balancing completion of mission and rest is one of the biggest challenges," said 1st Lt. Grace Andrews, executive officer, 911th TREC. "Oftentimes rescuers try and push through when they are physically and mentally depleted, but another team is standing by ready to relieve them and complete the mission faster because they are more rested."
During the two week validation, each platoon rotated through for five days.
One scenario, which took about 12 hours to complete, included rescuing victims from a collapsed parking garage.
"3rd platoon's validation exercise took place at Memorial Tunnel," said Clark. "They were given a scenario to clear and rescue high value targets from a collapsed parking garage, with victims trapped underneath large amounts of rubble, and in vehicles."
Memorial Tunnel is an old 2800 foot highway tunnel that cuts through the mountains. It is no longer used and has been converted into a training facility.
The rescue teams were comprised of members of 911th, The Old Guard's Rescue Support Platoon, Fort Belvoir Fire Department and Firefighters from Henrico County Division of Fire.
The Center for National Response is an operational component of the Joint Interagency Training and Education Center (JITEC), a National Guard training activity operated by the Chief, National Guard Bureau and the Adjutant General of West Virginia. The facility is designed to meet a wide range of weapons of mass destruction, consequence management and counterterrorism requirements for the Department of Defense, federal, state, and local organizations.
The 911th TREC, stationed at Fort Belvoir, Va. is assigned to the 12th Aviation Battalion, The Army Aviation Brigade, The Military District of Washington. It is best known for its response at the Pentagon following the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
The U.S. Army Military District of Washington serves as the Army Forces Component and core staff element of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region which conducts operations that deter, prevent and respond to threats aimed at the National Capital Region; and conducts world-class ceremonial musical and special events in support of our Nation's leadership.