Aug. 12, 2009

Joint civil support exercise prepares Virginia Defense Force

By 2nd Lt. Henry C. Howells
Virginia Defense Force Public Affairs

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Members of the Virginia Defense Force’s  Charlottesville-based, Company C, 13th Battalion, and the Virginia National Guard’s Charlottesville-based, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team conducted a joint training exercise Aug. 1 for access control and perimeter security at a simulated plane crash site. This exercise was one of a number of joint exercises taking place in Virginia combining members of the VDF’s Black Horse Brigade and the Virginia National Guard  116th Brigade with local responders.

  Joint exercise

Platoon leader Milton Chen of the Virginia Defense Force trains with Virginia Army National Guard at the central checkpoint Aug. 1 during a joint training exercise. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Henry C. Howells, VDF Public Affairs)

The exercise was designed to provide the Charlottesville-based VDF and National Guard companies an opportunity to conduct a civil support exercise that reflects the type of state mission that they could be called upon to execute while expanding the working relationships of the two companies. As 2nd Lt. Randy Brooks of Augusta County and the commander of C Company stated, “We want to use this exercise as good learning experience for possible future missions and develop relationships with our Virginia National Guard counterparts.”

After a joint briefing conducted by Capt. L.G. Yacubian, commander of the Guard's A Company, the units deployed to the site where a command post was established, a central checkpoint and access points secured, and perimeter security initiated. The VDF not only trained alongside of the Guard, but also served as role players to test access control. Additionally, the two units conducted communications training to evaluate their ability to communicate using different types of radio systems.

Sgt. Bradley Risk of Ruckersville and platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, C Company, worked with the Virginia National Guard and stated he “was able to successfully establish communications with brigade headquarters utilizing VNG field equipment in very little time under worse case conditions…assuming a power outage.”  Risk went on to say, “The joint exercise provided an excellent opportunity to work with our National Guard counterparts and forge an alliance for future exercises or state missions.” 

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