The National Guard Bureau's PATRIOT annual training exercise has begun at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center and Fort McCoy.
More than 1,100 participants are converging on the Wisconsin Air National Guard's Volk Field this week for a large-scale emergency response exercise, bringing community and federal agencies together with military organizations from several states. Agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services, Minnesota Department of Health Mortuary Response Team, Civil Air Patrol, Wisconsin Disaster Medical Team, Juneau County Sheriff and HAZMAT (Hazardous Material) Team, and the Tomah Police Department.
"This year's exercise is unique because we are training alongside local authorities," said Lt. Col. Brian Leong, PATRIOT 12 director. "Working with federal, state, and local authorities will allow us to be better prepared to respond to a national crisis."
The primary purpose of PATRIOT 12 is to assess the National Guard's ability to assist state and local agencies in response to multiple emergencies. The exercise will help all participants identify the strengths and weaknesses in their current response plans.
Local residents may notice an increase in air traffic as a result of the exercise. Some training may occur at low altitudes and in the evening, especially near Volk Field and Fort McCoy. Area residents with questions or concerns should contact Volk Field at 1-800-972-8673.
PATRIOT 12 runs July 17-19. Participants will conduct preparatory training until July 17.