New York Guard participates in distribution exercise

The New York Guard, the state's volunteer defense force, conducted a distribution exercise on Friday as part of its week-long annual training period.

The exercise, which included 75 members of the Guard at the Camp Smith Training Site at the Cortlandt Manor, established a point of distribution that could have theoretically sustained 5,000 people with food, water and other emergency supplies, according to a New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs press release.

The event involved simulated supplies, trucks, forklifts and the establishment of two drive-up and one walk-up supply lane.

The New York Guard and the New York National Guard conducted similar operations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. New York Guard members worked in operational headquarters, moved relief supplies and assisted in communications. They also instructed National Guard soldiers on proper use of chain saws and performed other support duties, including vehicle maintenance.

Members of the New York Guard are not in a federal military reserve force and do not normally carry weapons. There are currently 600 Guard members.