HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The following is a press release from Camp Shelby.
Because a natural disaster can strike any time, the National Guard, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security and other state and county emergency management agencies conducted a disaster readiness exercise called PATRIOT Tuesday.
PATRIOT is a three-day field exercise held Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, taking place primarily at Camp Shelby and Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center.
This exercise will test the National Guard’s abilities to support response operations during natural disasters utilizing simulated emergency scenarios: strong storms bringing high winds, storm surges creating a collapsed building, mass casualties, and the need for Search and Rescue along with evacuations of injured.
The National Guard, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Office of Homeland Security, along with local, state, and federal partners will be deployed to exercise venues at Camp Shelby practicing their response.
“PATRIOT gives our Soldiers and Airmen a chance to hone their skills to respond to a natural disaster and work with emergency management agencies,” said Lt. Col. Roger Brooks, exercise director for PATRIOT. “This exercise will help all of us prepare for any disaster.”
Brooks added residents in parts of Harrison and Forrest counties may see an increase in military equipment moving along roads and interstates, as well as aircraft flying, during the exercise.
More than 360 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from 15 states are supporting this year’s exercise.
The exercise provides the National Guard an opportunity to improve cooperation and relationships with its regional civilian, military, and federal partners in preparation for emergencies and catastrophic events.