Pennsylvania Guard Homeland Response Force Ready for Disasters Published Oct. 30, 2023 By Spc. Aliyah Vivier, Pennsylvania National Guard FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Soldiers and Airmen from the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Homeland Response Force proved their capabilities during an external evaluation exercise Oct. 27-28. The HRF conducts an external evaluation every three years to test their skills on how they would respond to a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) event. “They get to show off their skills,” said Col. John M. Wenzel, director of military support for the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Joint Operations Center. “Their external evaluation is to ensure they can do their jobs.” According to Wenzel, after the HRF gets notified that a CBRN event has occurred, the “inside” plans the response and how they will react while the “outside” finds people and victims to be decontaminated. Some get taken to medical facilities, while others are well enough after the decontamination. The Homeland Response Force’s mission is to conduct life-saving actions such as search and extraction, decontamination and medical stabilization within six hours to save lives and decrease suffering for victims. “The Homeland Response Force is like the first responders for catastrophic CBRN events,” said Wenzel.