By Sgt. Terence EwingsMarch 19, 2013
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - Service members assigned to the 811th Engineer Company, an Ohio National Guard unit out of Tarlton, showcased their search and evacuation skills at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., during the Vibrant Response 13 field training exercise, July 26.
Soldiers and airmen, treated and evacuated casualties from a simulated nuclear-contaminated area during the training exercise, which is conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North.
"My Soldiers are the best at what they do," said 2nd Lt. Chris Brandt, the officer in charge of the search and evacuation team. "As a team, we work very well together and know what we need to do, so we go out and execute; we help save lives."
As part of Joint Task Force Civil Support, the 811th stands ready to deploy in country, conducting search and evacuation operations in support of the Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force (DCRF) mission.
"We can perform the basic functions of any military engineer company; the difference is we also train to be an effective search and evacuation team," said Brandt, a native of Kettering, Ohio. "We know we can do the job to save as many lives as possible, and it's one of those things that make you feel good about putting on the uniform."
The National Guard unit participates in monthly training exercises and the annual Vibrant Response events to maintain their lifesaving skills and unit readiness.
Throughout the next week of training, approximately 5,000 service members and civilians will participate 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.
Tech. Sgt. Ashley Blackburn, an airman and combat medic assigned to the engineer company, believes this type of training is vital in keeping a unit ready for possible man-made or natural disasters.
"I love participating in these types of training exercises," said Blackburn, a native of Harrisburg, Pa. "Not only do we get an opportunity to work with other (military) branches, but we also get to train-up on tactics that are designed to help people and save lives."
Throughout the next week, the 811th Engineer Company will continue to support JTF-CS while conducting the Vibrant Response exercise.
JTF-CS headed out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., is the command and control element for DCRF.