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Oregon Air National Guard Security Forces participate in Patriot South exercise

By TSgt Jefferson Thompson Oregon Air National Guard

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The 2019 Patriot South exercise kicked off when Air and Army National Guard units from across the nation converged on Savannah, Georgia for a simulated natural disaster recovery and response exercise, March 1.

The first three days consisted of classroom instruction and refresher training on medical recovery and response, as well as crowd control. Oregon security forces Airmen and CBRN Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP) teams worked with Georgia State Patrol officers who acted as their On-Scene Law Enforcement Liaisons for the exercises.

The team was split in to two squads, and each squad was paired with three or four GSP officers. Day one and two of the exercise focused on Airfield Security Operations and Urban City Search and Rescue, as well as Law Enforcement Mission Support.

The teams worked to unify with GSP Law Enforcement, finding ways around tactical communication differences and different personnel utilization. The exercise featured multi-task challenges derived from real-world incidents from across the nation, and reported to the Air National Guard Crisis Action Team at National Guard Bureau headquarters during Domestic Operations and Humanitarian Mission Tasks Security Forces.

Day three culminated in five staged crowd control scenarios, where role playing and responding personnel were utilized. Security Forces, CERFP, and GSP put their training and teamwork to use as smoke and flash bang grenades, RBM Stingball grenades, and FN303 Less-Than-Lethal rounds flew through the air to maximize realism while teams worked to maintain and restore law and order.

“This team is by far the best Crowd Control Team we’ve ever seen at a Patriot South or Patriot North Exercise!” said Master Sgt. Bill Hawley, National Guard Bureau Crisis Action Team Manager. “They did outstanding, and it is clearly seen how quickly and unified they were with their GSP counterparts, and that is exactly what they will see in real world operations. We couldn’t be more happy to have this team of ANG members attend.”

The participants agreed that this this was a fantastic opportunity to showcase who they are as a tea, and what they are capable to bring to the table.

“When our National calls on us in a moment of crisis, the Oregon Air National Guard is able, willing, and ready to answer the call and provide the care, comfort, and support needed to repair, restore, and heal communities,” said Master Sgt. Nathan Page, 142nd Security Forces Squadron, Oregon ANG.