Utah National Guard force train for domestic emergency response

Utah National Guard force train for domestic emergency response

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SALT LAKE CITY — Thursday, about 100 members of the Utah National Guard trained for major natural disaster response.

Thursday was one of a four-day exercise. The 600-member Utah Guard Homeland Response Force assists domestically with natural disasters in Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

"It would be a large event to move us by air," said US. Army National Guard Maj. Talon Greeff. "They would have to want to move us quickly to support domestic authorities as they're saving lives and trying to relieve human suffering."

The group is one of 10 Homeland Response Forces based throughout the country that, in the case of a disaster, will quickly load equipment onto giant military transport planes and get it to the disaster location.

Thursday, the force practiced loading civilian equipment onto the C-17, a plane not usually used domestically.

"We had to practice loading civilian equipment and then very specialized equipment for the decontamination missions that we have, the search and rescue missions that we have and the medical missions that we have," US. Army National Guard Maj. Talon Greeff said.

The training exercise helped guard members learn what equipment will fit onto the planes and the how to get it loaded and unloaded efficiently, as well as establishing a template for the other Homeland Response Forces to use in loading the plane.

According to Greeff, the Utah National Guard was recently identified as one of the leading Homeland Response Forces.


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Keith McCord


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