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Tag Archive | "Army National Guard"

Camp Grayling Flexes Capacity Muscle with Arctic Eagle 16


N-Camp-Grayling-Coast-Guard

 

By Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton, Michigan National Guard

As a Coast Guard rapid response team stormed a ship taken by “terrorists” in Lake Huron, Marine Corps Reservists were conducting infantry maneuvers with a group of soldiers from the Denmark Home Guard. At the local hospital, an incident command center had been stood up as civilian doctors and nurses communicated with sheriff deputies about the possibility that some kind of radiological dirty bomb had been detonated in town—discovered by a specialized team from the Indiana National Guard.

In short, it was just another day at Camp Grayling.

The complexity of this exercise shows the capacity that we enjoy here at Camp Grayling,” Major Gen. Gregory Vadnais, the adjutant general of Michigan, explained as he stood outside a decontamination tent at Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital in the northern Michigan city of Grayling.

This exercise is Arctic Eagle 16, a National Guard-led exercise focusing on emergency response to a terrorist incident on American soil. Arctic Eagle brought some 1,100 troops to the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center for about two weeks in early April amid a late season snowstorm that dropped temperatures below zero and dumped six or more inches of snow on the region, and complemented the exercise’s Arctic name. But this exercise was just one of a series of events that brought nearly a quarter million troops to the camp in Fiscal Year 2015.

We can provide four seasons of a wide range of training scenarios,” explained Lt. Col. Theresa Brown, the deputy garrison commander at Camp Grayling. “In recent years, we have increasingly moved into functioning as a truly joint training environment, where we see multiple different uniforms, often times able to work directly and collaboratively with state and local law enforcement or other first responder agencies.”

Which explains why, on the day Vadnais and several other general officers visited the troops in the field during Arctic Eagle, a senior Coast Guard officer was with the group—on an Army National Guard camp some 75 miles from the nearest coastline.

Our mission brings us in to regular contact both with the various military branches and with local and state law enforcement,” said Coast Guard Capt. Eric Johnson, chief of incident management for the 9th Coast Guard District, which oversees the Great Lakes region. “So an exercise like this—while our personnel may not be operating on Camp Grayling itself, but we are working closely with other teams, sharing communications and coordinating efforts—allows us to practice our mission of homeland security.”

In the Arctic Eagle scenario, Coast Guard and National Guard troops from Michigan and Massachusetts used a museum ship in Mackinaw City, Mich.—the former US Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw—to stage a series of attacks and counter-attacks on the ship. The troops worked closely with the owner of a privately owned industrial shipyard in nearby Cheboygan to stage the raid. The fact that Cheboygan County Sheriff Dale Claremont is also a sergeant major in the Michigan Army National Guard helped to ensure smooth coordination between the military units and the locals in Mackinaw City and Cheboygan.

As that was happening in Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, at Camp Grayling’s Combined Arms Training Facility, Marine Corps Reservists from the 3rd Battalion/25th Marines based in Johnson City, Tenn., were focused on another aspect of Arctic Eagle—providing security and response to seek out the “terrorists” in the exercise. Working with the Marines were some 80 members of the Home Guard of Denmark, a volunteer unit somewhat similar to the U.S. National Guard.

This is an opportunity for our Marines to not only work in conjunction with other units, but to gain some great cultural training by working with the Danes,” said Lt. Col. Ford Philips, inspector/instructor for 3rd Battalion. “The Marines are not only working on their skills as infantry, but learning a lot about another culture and how they view military service.

For one of the Danish Home Guard troops, the Camp Grayling training has particular relevance. Pvt. A.J. Manzon said he had a friend who was in Brussels, Belgium, during the March 22, 2016, terror attacks there.

Terrorism has come too close to us,” Manzon said during a break between small squad infantry training. “It is very important for us to be ready, both Denmark and the U.S.”

Working with partner organizations—both at the local level and internationally—is a core competency of the National Guard, Vadnais said.

Having the Danish Home Guard here adds a layer of complexity to the operation. The opportunity to work with the local hospital—and they have just been great partners with us. Our job is to leverage these partnerships in a way that serves our state and our nation,” Vadnais said. “The partnerships and the capacity that we have here at Camp Grayling allows not only the Michigan National Guard to maintain a high degree of readiness, but to be able to share that capacity with our partners.”

Those partnerships benefit not only the National Guard and related agencies, but the medical professionals at the community hospital in Grayling.

“It’s always worthwhile to practice emergency preparedness as a hospital because we know that we will almost always be involved in an external disaster and the more we practice the better prepared we will be in the future, explained Stephanie Riemer, president of Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital. “Being able to practice with our long standing community partner, the National Guard, was not only an honor, it gave the hospital the opportunity to practice an entirely different scenario than our usual community wide drills would offer and we learned so much from the exercise that will strengthen our ongoing efforts in emergency preparedness.”

Among the 1,100 troops supporting Arctic Eagle 16 was an Indiana National Guard soldier on her first major exercise. Private 1st Class Rakiya Lyons was part of the team that helped create the emergency decontamination treatment center near the simulated bomb blast site.

Seeing how it all really comes together, seeing how the parts of the team all work together—it’s really something,” Lyons said.

Arctic Eagle 16 is a National Guard led, joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational exercise based on the President of the United States, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, state of Alaska and international partners’ Arctic strategies. It is conducted in live and constructive environments, focused on humanitarian assistance, consequence management and infrastructure protection.

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Hometown Hero


 

Kyle J. Cory has been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army after successfully completing the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program and graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Mich.

The new officer will be branched to a specific corps in the Army to serve on active duty or in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve. The lieutenant will attend an officer basic course relating to his or her particular military occupational specialty/job. Afterward, the officer will complete advanced training by attending basic officer leadership courses for career progression purposes.

The ROTC curriculum prepares students with the tools, training and experiences to help cadets succeed as effective leaders in any competitive environment. Army officers serve as leaders, counselors, strategists and motivators, who lead other soldiers in all situations occurring in ever-changing environments. As trained problem-solvers, key influencers and planners, they are driven to achieve success with their team on every mission.

Cory is the son of Sally J. Cory of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Daniel J. Cory of Cedar Springs, Mich., and brother of Kallista and Rachael Cory of Grand Rapids, Mich.

He is a 2011 graduate of Forest Hills Eastern High School, Ada, Mich.

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Helpful tips to protect your hearing


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features)

Not only can noise distract, disturb and interfere with communication and sleep, it can affect your performance, behavior and hearing.

In many cases, hearing loss can be prevented by recognizing sources of damaging noise levels and using appropriate protective equipment. However, excessive noise exposure can cause permanent hearing loss that cannot be treated with medication, or result in constant ringing in your ears called tinnitus. Impaired hearing can reduce your ability to recognize your surroundings and listen for cues of potential danger.

HEA-Hearing2Learn how to protect yourself from future hearing damage with this advice from Guard Your Health, a health education campaign by the Army National Guard:

  • Know the safe volume limit to protect yourself from future hearing damage. Noise that is 0 to 80 decibels is generally safe, while noise that is 140 to 200 decibels can be dangerous.
  • Noise that exceeds safe parameters, even if it’s under 140 decibels, can still cause damage to your hearing over time. A general rule of thumb is the “three feet rule.” If you have to shout to someone who is three feet away (about an arm’s length), the noise level in that location could be damaging.
  • Be aware that a single exposure to a very loud sound (such as weapon fire) can cause permanent hearing loss.
  • Using proper hearing protection for the environment can help prevent damage to your eardrum and hearing. There are several types of hearing protection devices available including foam earplugs, silicone earplugs and earmuffs. For example, when shooting at the gun range, noise-activated earplugs can help you avoid sudden eardrum rupture.
  • Foam earplugs should be pinched when inserted, allowing the foam to expand in your ear until you achieve a tight, non-painful seal. Silicone earplugs should be inserted only until you feel a slight resistance to avoid damaging your inner ear. To wear ear plugs properly, straighten your ear by gripping the cartilage and stretching it away from your body. Insert the earplug then release your ear. Do a few jumping jacks to test the security of the earplugs; if they fall out, try again or get a smaller size.
  • Earmuffs should rest about two finger widths from your jawbone and completely cover your ears for a tight seal on the side of your face.

If you notice signs of hearing problems, ask your doctor to test your hearing. Common symptoms include a muffled sound in your ears after leaving a noisy area or event such as a car race, concert, wood working or hunting; prolonged ringing or buzzing in your ears after exposure to noise; and difficulty understanding what people are saying although you can hear them talking.

For more health-related tools and information, visit guardyourhealth.com.

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Hometown Hero


Army National Guard Spec. Melissa Renucci has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Renucci is the daughter of Brenda Harrington of Cedar Springs, Mich., and sister of Cindy Overholser of Hermitage, Tenn.

She is a 1995 graduate of Lee High School, Grand Rapids, Mich.

 

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Hometown Hero


 

Army National Guard Spec. Nicholas S. Emery has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, core values and traditions. Additional training included development of basic combat skills and battlefield operations and tactics, and experiencing use of various weapons and weapons defenses available to the infantry crewman.

Emery is the son of Allen and Cathleen Emery of Cedar Springs, and husband of Pamella.

The specialist is a 2001 graduate of Cedar Springs High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 2008 from Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids.

 

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Hometown Hero


David Lange, a 2007 Cedar Springs graduate, will be leaving for Afghanistan at the end of March, for a 9-month tour of duty.

Specialist Lange joined the Army National Guard, while still in high school, in 2007. In Dec. 2009, he went on active duty and was assigned as a Cavalry Scout to Ft. Carson, Colorado. Three months later, his unit was deployed to the Basrah region of Iraq, and returned last March. He recently received additional training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, in preparation for his Afghanistan deployment.

David will be home on leave from March 8-16, and then return to Ft. Carson to ship out. While in Afghanistan, he hopes to meet up with his best friend, Jeremy Laatz, also a 2007 CS graduate, who was deployed earlier this year.

David is the son of Dave and Cyndy Lange of Cedar Springs.

 

 

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Hometown hero


Nathan A. Hoskins

Army National Guard Pvt. Nathan A. Hoskins has graduated from the Direct Fire Infantryman One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.
The training consists of Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training.
During the nine weeks of Basic Combat Training, the soldier received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, core values and traditions. Additional training included development of basic combat skills and battlefield operations and tactics, and experiencing use of various weapons and weapons defenses available to the infantry crewman.
The Advanced Individual Training course is designed to train indirect fire infantry soldiers to employ, fire and recover anti-personnel and anti-tank mines; locate, neutralize and extract mines; map reading and ground navigation; operate and maintain communications equipment and radio networks; construct and camouflage mortar firing positions; operate and maintain mortars and fire control equipment for individual/crew served weapons firing positions.
Hoskins is the son of Mark and Joy Hoskins of 19 Mile Road, Cedar Springs, Mich.
He is a 2010 graduate of Cedar Springs High School.

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