HomeMediaArticle Display

Hawaii defenders build partnerships at Patriot South 18

Members of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Special Response Team escort members of the 154th Security Forces Squadron while they simulate the transport of a wounded civilian in a Patriot South exercise, Feb. 13, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

Members of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Special Response Team escort members of the 154th Security Forces Squadron while they simulate the transport of a wounded civilian in a Patriot South exercise, Feb. 13, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. PATRIOT is a Domestic Operations disaster-response training exercise conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. James Ro)

Defenders from the 154th Security Forces Squadron practice crowd control methods during exercise Patriot South Feb. 15, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Miss.

Defenders from the 154th Security Forces Squadron practice crowd control methods during exercise Patriot South Feb. 15, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Miss. The Airmen were unofficially deputized by members of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Special Response Team to serve as backup for three days of disaster-response training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Airman First Class David Lovell Pieper Victorino, 154th Security Forces Squadron fire team member, provides simulated medical care to an injured civilian during Patriot South exercise, Feb. 13, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

Airman First Class David Lovell Pieper Victorino, 154th Security Forces Squadron fireteam member, provides simulated medical care to an injured civilian during Patriot South exercise, Feb. 13, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Patriot South is a domestic operations training exercise focused on preparing for natural disaster with approximately 1000 participants from federal, state and local entities. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. James Ro)

Members of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Special Response Team apprehend Master Sgt. Joshua Go Forth, 129th Security Forces Squadron squad leader, during a training exercise Feb. 15, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

Members of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Special Response Team apprehend Master Sgt. Joshua Go Forth, 129th Security Forces Squadron squad leader, during a training exercise Feb. 15, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The special response team was backed up by members of the Hawaii Air National Guard, 154th SFS, through three days of intensive training for exercise Patriot South. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Staff Sgt. Sashalynn Sears (center) and Airman 1st Class Juanito Gacusan, 154th Security Forces Squadron fireteam member, searches the forest as part simulated search and rescue sweep as part of Patriot South Feb. 14, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

Staff Sgt. Sashalynn Sears (center) and Airman 1st Class Juanito Gacusan, 154th Security Forces Squadron fireteam member, searches the forest as part simulated search and rescue sweep as part of Patriot South Feb. 14, 2018, at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The exercise challenged the Airmen in a series of trials, such as supply delivery, medical care, search and rescue, VIP escort and crowd management. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- Imagine this: a major earthquake registering 7.7 on the Richter Scale strikes a town called Luxora, Arkansas, about 70 miles north of Mississippi, affecting a town called Aloha City in Perry County. There are reports of high amounts of injuries, casualties and major infrastructure damage throughout Aloha City. As criminal activity is on the rise in rural areas, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agencies is getting to the point of being overrun. There isn’t enough law enforcement support to respond to the looters and to help injured civilians in those hard-to-reach places. The Governor of the state of Mississippi has declared Perry County a Federal Emergency Area, and enacted an Emergency Message Action, asking for support of outside states and local, state and federal agencies to respond to the area affected.

Disasters like this happen all the time, which is why approximately 1,000 participants from federal, state and local entities came together for this year’s iteration of exercise Patriot South, held Feb. 13-15, in the Gulfport, Mississippi, area.

In this particular training scenario, the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Security Forces Squadron flew 4,200 miles to join Mississippi law enforcement’s call-to-arms.

Upon the triggering event of Patriot South, the catastrophic ‘earthquake,’ the Airmen from Hawaii united with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Special Response Team at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, where they were unofficially deputized for all purposes of the training events. Over the next three days, the Airmen served as much-needed backup for the responders in a series of trials, such as supply delivery, medical care, search and rescue, VIP escort, crowd management and even herding cattle in order to clear an airfield.

“Based off my experience of working with active duty Airmen, the training we went through felt very realistic,” said Airman 1st Class Marvin Bumanglag, 154 SFS fire team member. “Some parts got really stressful, but as long as we stayed in communication with each other, we were able to handle each situation they threw at us. It also helped me get to know the people I work with better and now I’ve got a lot more trust and confidence in them.”

Each training activity was carefully planned to mimic an actual emergency event which occurred during the past year.

In order to bring each crisis scenario to life, security forces Airmen from the 129th Rescue Wing, California, played out the roles of injured victims, aggressors, general public and VIPs, making this the first national level exercise to include multiple Air National Guard security forces units working together with state law enforcement.

While the two units haven’t collaborated before, one of the largest advantages of the civilian-military police team was its diversity of experience. Several of the MDWFP members hail from military backgrounds and have been recognized as one of the best team of trackers in the nation. Out of the 94 security forces squadrons in the ANG, the Guardsmen of the 154th have the highest deployment rate, and many of its members have civilian careers as police officers and other emergency management positions.

Throughout the exercise, participants had plenty of opportunities to share their expertise and learn something new from their new partners.

“Its remarkable how we only met each other a few days ago, but our teams just gelled together like they’ve been working together for their past 10 to 15 years,” said police Capt. Dale Bell, MDWFP SRT chief. “This experience has definitely been a bridge builder between the Air National Guard and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; a complete win-win for the state and the country.”

Exercises like this also serve as a valuable opportunity for junior Airmen to step up and take the helm of higher-ranked responsibilities, such as operating the law enforcement operations center and leading a fire team. Senior Master Sgt. Clifford Ramson, 154 SFS exercise evaluator, said it’s common for leaders to be replaced due to other taskings and field-related injuries, making important for all Airmen to always be ready to fill the shoes of their superiors.

After four months of planning and three days of intensive crisis-management, the exercise came to a successful close.

Just like the unpredictable events the responders overcame in Patriot South, ANG units across the nation and U.S. territories are standing by to lend a hand to their neighboring states and active duty components around the world. Whether it’s an earthquake, blizzard, flood, or tsunami, they have the unique role and capability to help those in need at a moment’s notice.

Contact Us

ANG Public Affairs does not act as an operator service. They do not have the capability to redirect incoming calls to other offices. Please contact the base operator for these services. For a RECRUITER click HERE

Base Operator 301-981-1110

ANG Public Affairs
3500 Fetchet Avenue
Joint Base Andrews, MD 20762
(240) 612-9494

NGB Press Desk
703-601-6767

NGB Press Desk After-Hours
703-627-7273
ngbpa.oncall@mail.mil