Supporting the National Level Exercise

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Story and photos by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Sgt 1st Class Bert O`Daniel discusses logistical operations with Army Guard Lt. Col. Chris Meyer and Air Guard Lt. Col. Dawn Muller during the National Level Exercise in Bowling Green, Ky. May 17. (Photo by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (May 24, 2011) – The nation’s largest-ever multi-agency exercise involving an actual natural threat was held last week across seven states to respond to a simulated catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid Fault.

To support the National Level Exercise, the Kentucky National Guard established a Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration team based out of Bowling Green, Ky.

According to Sgt. 1st Class Bert O`Daniel, JRSOI logistics coordinator, the team’s function is to receive personnel from outside the Commonwealth, equip them and move them forward to provide support.

“Realistically, there’s not enough assets to support everyone,” said O`Daniel. “We will have to balance our need to distribute supplies with those who are already supporting the effort.”

The JRSOI team set up camp at the Bowling Green Police Department as a place to coordinate their efforts. Their mission is to identify locations in Bowling Green that would be suitable to receive potentially thousands of troops and aid workers each day, in-process them and send them forward.

Kentucky Air Guardsman Lt. Col. Dawn Muller works alongside South Carolina Army Guardsman Maj. Shannon Goad in Bowling Green, Ky during the National Level Exercise May 17. (Photo by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

“A big challenge is identifying a site in the middle of nowhere to take in these people who are here to provide support,” said Lt. Col. Chris

Meyer, Army Guard JRSOI Director. “We need to provide fuel, housing and medical support just to name a few. It’s a daunting task.”

This group also runs into simulated problems that they might encounter in an actual emergency and are forced to think outside-the-box when dealing with them.

Members of the Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration, or JRSOI, stage out of the Bowling Green, Ky Police Department during the National Level Exercise May 17. The JRSOI is responsible for receiving personnel from outside the Commonwealth, equipping them and quickly moving them forward to provide support. (Photo by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

O`Daniel brings 35 years of logistical experience to the JRSOI team. He currently works full-time for the Surface Maintenance Office as a Management Analyst in Frankfort, Ky.

“We’ve improved a lot over the last few years. It’s a continuous process – constantly evaluating the job at hand.”

http://kentuckyguard.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/preparing-the-force-for-a-catastrophic-incident/

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/70549/national-level-exercise-showcases-guards-interagency-operability

http://isurfhopkins.com/local/11163-kentucky-tests-communications-and-response-capabilities-in-the-national-earthquake-exercise.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kyngpao/

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