BARRIGADA, Guam—The Guam National Guard will host exercise Vigilant Guard 2020 throughout the island on Nov. 18-22. The exercise’s “soft start” began yesterday with the anticipation of a super typhoon and normal responses and preparations that follow.
Vigilant Guard 2020 is an exercise program sponsored by the U.S. Northern Command in conjunction with National Guard Bureau to give states and territories the most realistic civil support/defense support to civil authorities exercise possible, by exercising all aspects of response.
Exercise participants include the Guam National Guard, Guam Homeland Security, federal and local response partners, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Guam Regional Office, the Guam Fire Department, the Guam Police Department, the Port Authority of Guam, Guam Department of Public Health and Social Service, the Department of Education, the Guam Waterworks Authority, the Guam Power Authority, the Mayors Council of Guam, the National Weather Service, five other national guard units, and active duty/ Reserve military counterparts from USNORTHCOM, Indo-Pacific Command, the U.S. Army Reserve Pacific, Pacific Air Forces, Joint Region Marianas, Naval Base Guam, the 36th Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, and 9th Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve.
“We are excited to host this exercise because it will test the Guard’s preparedness as well as help increase our readiness should we be called upon to assist with real-world events that may threaten our island,” said Maj. Gen. Esther J.C. Aguigui, The Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard.
As part of the exercise, there will be heightened emergency response activity islandwide, including helicopter flight, sirens, horns, and loud explosions. Residents and visitors can expect a slight increase in traffic in the central part of the island due to response vehicles.
Residents, visitors and motorists are advised there may be simulated emergency scenarios as part of the exercise at the following locations which include but are not limited to the Astumbo Gym, the Tanguisson Power Plant, the Guam Memorial Hospital, the Port Authority of Guam, the Dededo Transfer Station, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, the Malojloj Transfer Station, Radio Barrigada, F.Q. Sanchez Elementary School, Merizo Elementary School, the Northern Regional Community Health Center, Talofofo Bay, and the Guard’s Readiness Center in Barrigada.
The public can expect heightened emergency response activities as the exercise is centered on a super typhoon response and multiple chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear incidents around the island. The main CBRN incident is an explosion at the Port Authority of Guam and the collapse of the “Guahan Hotel.” With CBRN consequences there are also medical scenarios that involve medevac units from both the Guam National Guard and the U.S. Navy’s HSC 25.
The Guam National Guard will also exercise the Dual Status Command with Task Force West Operation Centers and provide Command and Control on the Defense Support to Civil Authorities operations in support of Guam Homeland Security/ Office of Civil Defense.
These multiple CBRN incidents will trigger the deployment of CBRN Response Enterprise and Homeland Response Force packages and region 9 and 10 Civil Support Teams.
Besides the CBRN events, the Guam National Guard will work with Guam Homeland Security to ensure the Island is recovered from the super typhoon by providing engineering, transportation, security, and logistical support to the government of Guam.
Members of the National Guard are often called upon to work with local emergency responders, state and federal agencies, and federal military forces during major events occurring in their state, such as natural disasters or large-scale social events. (PR)