Fort Stewart Public Affairs
Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians from the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Garrisons participated in a full scale protection exercise April 19-21 designed to test emergency responses while training for real world threats.
Stewart Guardian is full scale emergency response exercise that involves multiple agency participation. It was designed to ensure the safety and security of the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield communities by practicing response times and testing emergency plans.
“We exercise a lot of different functions under the full scale exercise to make sure that the community stays safe,” said Emergency Contingency Planning Officer Beau Bradley.
Facilitating such a large scale exercise takes a lot of planning and coordination between multiple agencies. Bradley said that planning meetings for the exercise began over six months prior to the actual execution. Bradley said that he works hard to stay abreast of the ever evolving threats.
“We have what we call emerging threats. Some of those threats are increased cyberattacks from bad people, different types of technical items that they could use,” said Mr. Bradley, “I am reading a lot of data to keep our exercise program as realistic as possible.”
The intent of Stewart Guardian is to prepare for real world threats by identifying areas that need to be updated or changed and addressing those concerns. One such item was an alternate location for the Emergency Family Assistance Center at Hunter Army Airfield. An EFAC is a one-stop shop including multiple service agencies designed to quickly assist Soldiers and Families with the recovery process after a significant event.
Overall the exercise was a success with a small number of areas identified for improvement. The installation’s leadership was pleased with the rigor of the exercise.
“I thought this was a real honest look at our emergency response plans. Like any training event, we have some good stuff and we have some things that we can tighten up. Overall we did a great job with the level of response and communication that took place,” said Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Manuel Ramirez.
The installations’ next full-scale exercise is in December and it will be externally evaluated by a team from U.S. Army Installation Management Command. Follow the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield digital media platforms for more information about the installations’ exercise programs.