Vigilant Guard exercise held in Kansas

The Kansas National Guard hosted the Vigilant Guard emergency preparedness exercise from Aug. 4-7 in Salina.

The event, a multi-state emergency response exercise, included 456 participants from the Army, Air Force and civilian agencies from Kansas and four other states.

Air Force Maj. Penny Jamvold, one of the primary planning officers with the Joint Reception Staging Onward Integration (JRSOI) team, said that there was some hesitancy among JRSOI officers during the initial planning phases of the operation.

"There were a lot of personnel changes throughout the year-long planning process, and the different acronyms used by the Army and Air Force led to some initial confusion," Jamvold said.

Jamvold said that the process of checking in and integrating the event participants was ultimately a positive one.

"Through all of our dedicated efforts, Vigilant Guard has been a resounding success when it comes to personnel accountability," Jamvold said. "Really, the best and most successful part of the entire operation has been the 'joint' aspect."

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) also helped to organize and execute the event.

"KDEM provided a lot of useful guidance and were very helpful to ensure all civilians involved in the exercise were properly accounted for during their arrival in Salina," Army Maj. Courtney Prewitt, an officer with the JRSOI team, said.