National Guard kicks off PATRIOT South 19 exercise
Pvt. Cable Morgan, a combat medic, along with other Soldiers with the Fort Stewart Winn Army Community Hospital MEDDAC, practices loading and unloading litter patients on and off a UH-72 Lakota medevac helicopter during the PATRIOT South 19 exercise,... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

AIR DOMINANCE CENTER, Ga. -- The National Guard Bureau is holding a Domestic Operations (DOMOPS) exercise, based out of the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia, providing training to Armed Forces members and local, state and federal civilian entities, in preparation for a natural or man-made disaster, March 5-7.

PATRIOT South 19 is an annual, accredited Joint National Training Capability (JNTC) training exercise that provides a simulated natural disaster environment for units to test their response and capabilities to conduct domestic operations.

"PATRIOT is a DOMOPS exercise where the intent is to improve how to communicate with folks in multiple uniforms and those who don't wear uniforms," said Lt. Col. Roger Brooks IV, PATRIOT South 19 director. "This exercise allows us to figure out how we're going to work together in the event of a natural or man-made disaster."

PATRIOT South 19 will take place in multiple locations including the Air Dominance Center, Hunter Army Air Field, Fort Stewart and the Guardian Center in Perry, Georgia.

This exercise focuses on joint coordination between various National Guard members, civilian organizations at the federal, state and local level, and volunteers. It intends to improve their ability to work together to gain relevant, realistic and innovative training for real-life disasters and emergencies.

"We're practicing how we would respond," said Brooks. "The big parts are defending the homeland and partnership with other agencies. We have partnerships with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, non-profit organizations like Team Rubicon, the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. We are brothers and sisters working side by side with each other."

Some participants include National Guard Soldiers and Airmen in various career fields from over 30 states, Department of Veteran's Affairs (DMAVA), the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), the South Carolina Department of Public Health and Environment, Chatham County Emergency Agency, Tift County Emergency Agency, The Salvation Army and Team Rubicon.

"The idea is that it doesn't take one organization, it takes multiple to communicate and make the mission happen," said Brooks.

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