June 10, 2003, 20:39 EST

1-116th Infantry and Roanoke City Police conduct joint training exercise

Soldiers from 1-116th Infantry stand ready against a group of protestors during their training exercise at Fort Pickett. Photo by Maj. Cotton Puryear. For more photos, click HERE.

BLACKSTONE, Va. - The 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry, stationed in Roanoke, Va. and the City of Roanoke, Va. Police Department conducted a combined training exercise at Ft. Pickett in Blackstone, Va. on June 10, 2003. The objective of the training exercise was to enhance interagency coordination for military assistance to civil authorities in the event of civil unrest or similar incidents.

“Working together like this gives us a better understanding of each other’s capabilities,” said Lt. Col Fred Doyle, commander of the 1st Battalion. “It also gives us confidence in knowing how each other operates, and allows us to come together as a joint task force if we need to.”

The scenario for the training event was a group of protestors that took a violent turn into rioters, with the National Guard and local police authorities responding to the incident. National Guard soldiers dressed in civilian clothes acted as protestors to provide realistic training for the rest of the Guard unit and the police officers.

Doyle said he felt the training event was a success, and that the units involved reacted appropriately to the scenario.

The exercise tooke advantage of training facilities at Ft. Pickett including the Military Operation on Urban Terrain site or MOUT site. The MOUT site allows training units to work through various operational and logistical exercises in an urban setting.

After the morning exercise, the unit’s conducted after action reviews at all levels to discuss what went well during the exercise and should be maintained, and what did not go so well and should be improved.

Approximately 170 Virginia National Guard soldiers and 40 law enforcement officers participated in the exercise. It also included the use of City of Roanoke Police Department mounted patrol and K-9 units.

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