Oregon National Guard participates in Alaska disaster drill

The Oregon National Guard's emergency response team recently participated in Vigilant Guard-Alaska 2014, a training exercise meant to train civilian and military agencies to work together during an emergency.

Approximately 200 soldiers and airmen from the Oregon National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives Enhanced Response Force Package joined with the Hawaii National Guard to participate in the exercise on March 24-April 3 near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The exercise had the Oregon and Hawaii teams assist victims after a simulated earthquake, Dvidshub.net reports.

The CERFP search and extraction teams rescued simulated victims who were trapped under debris. The scenario was modeled after an earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Alaska on March 27, 1964.

"We're here to help the Alaska fire chief do search and extraction on collapsed buildings and treat victims of the earthquake," Army Lt. Col. Mike Moffit, the commander of the CERFP, said, according to Dvidshub.net.

The CERFP worked with the Hawaii National Guard to provide continuous support for the civilian authority. Both teams used the exercise to determine each other's best practices and integrate new procedures.

"Our command element attends many schools in conjunction with civilian response forces so that we all learn how to use the same language, use the same forms, use the same command structure and how we can create the military into a civilian force," Moffit said, according to Dvidshub.net.

Moffit said the training exercise was an excellent opportunity for the CERFP, local firefighters and civilian search and extraction teams, Dvidshub.net reports.