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Rosecrans participates in national disaster exercise

Soldiers from the Missouri Guard’s 129th Field Artillery from Maryville, Mo., ready equipment for Exercise Vigilant Guard at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Mo., Nov. 3, 2012. (Photo by Jennifer Archdekin)

Soldiers from the Missouri Guard’s 129th Field Artillery from Maryville, Mo., ready equipment for Exercise Vigilant Guard at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Mo., Nov. 3, 2012. (Photo by Jennifer Archdekin)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO -- Thousands of Missouri Army and Air National Guard
members will join community, state and federal agencies Nov. 3-7 for the
National Guard Bureau exercise Vigilant Guard in Missouri.

The exercise, which begins Saturday, tests Guard member's abilities to
respond to a major disaster including a large-scale earthquake along the New
Madrid Seismic Zone.

The 139th Airlift Wing at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph,
MO., is one of the staging areas for Soldiers and Airmen to receive
out-of-state Guard units at a joint reception, staging, onward movement and
integration site before going on to their missions.

"We train for the worst so that we're always at our best," said Army Maj.
Gen. Stephen L. Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard.
"Missouri's Soldiers and Airmen are the most battle-tested, seasoned force
we've ever had. Whether they're fighting our enemies overseas or supporting
the Show Me State during natural disasters at home, our troops get the job
done. This exercise is an opportunity to make our force even more ready and
capable."

Missouri units from across the state will participate. Under the exercise
scenario, they will contend with a number of mock challenges, including disrupted
public utilities and widespread infrastructure damage.

The Guard members will test their ability to provide direct support to state and federal
responders in a number of scenarios commonly faced in real-world disasters.
Their training includes in-processing of out-of-state forces in St. Joseph
and at Camp Crowder; decontamination, search and extraction and medical
operations in Columbia; dry-span bridging in Macon; excavation and
bridge-site preparation in Festus and sling load and rafting operations in
Jefferson City.