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10th Homeland Response Force Conducts Collective Training

  • Published
  • By Spc. Ryan Dunn,
  • 96th Troop Command

WARRENTON, Ore. - Last month, more than 350  Army and Air National Guardsmen from Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Oregon conducted a training exercise at Camp Rilea Armed Forces Training Center in Warrenton.

The Sustainment Year Collective Training Exercise (SYCTE) is a multi-day evaluation that helps commanders assess the readiness of all Homeland Response Force elements during a mock disaster.

Collective training events enable service members from units charged with the Homeland Response Force mission to test their skills as a complete asset.

The HRF comprises the CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package, Joint Incident Site Communications Capability, CBRNE Assistance Support Element and the HRF Command and Control Element.

During the seven-day event, HRF elements were evaluated on every response phase, from planning to execution, by observer coach/trainers from AITEC CBRNE Battalion, West Virginia National Guard.

Before the exercise, the HRF C2 staff conducted two days of classroom refresher training on a new information-sharing system fielded to National Guard CBRN-aligned units.

The National Guard CBRN Response Enterprise Information Management System is a record system providing a common operating picture for managing mission operations during emergencies.

“The SYCTE was a great opportunity for the 10th HRF to both employ a new system and engage most of the drilling staff,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Pearce, 10th HRF Operations sergeant major. “There were, of course, some growing pains with such an effort, but I think that everyone now has a better understanding of the operation and systems that we use.”

Instructors from the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense challenged staff to “break the system” and test the software.

“This training was needed to help us learn and grow,” said Washington National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Woehrman, team leader of the CASE element. “Now our company — myself included — have a clear understanding of what is expected of us and what our role is.”