ATS News

Vigilant Guard Alaska successful using ATSsim

Did you know Alaska can experience earthquakes and tsunamis? These scenarios are what Team ATS assisted the Joint Force Headquarters-Alaska with during Vigilant Guard Alaska, March 4-7, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

“This exercise brought together approximately 350 participants from federal, state, and local agencies, along with active duty and National Guard units from multiple states,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Koontz, the Alaska National Guard J37 Joint Training and Exercises Current Operations Chief. “Our goal for this exercise was to be ready to respond when the state needs us to take care of fellow Alaskans in times of emergency.”

The purpose of the exercise was to test and validate the Alaska National Guard’s response plan and decision-making process during a crisis. In this training, the scenario dealt with an earthquake of M9.2 occurring 70 miles east of Anchorage and 50 miles west of Valdez, along the Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone.  All regions in the southern part of Alaska were impacted by the initial earthquake, the ensuing tsunami and a major aftershock.

The National Guard was responsible for the planning and execution of route-clearing missions, search and rescue operations and other disaster response efforts.

“The planning team is proud of the many groups and individuals who have contributed to the planning and execution of this exercise,” Koontz said. “It could not have occurred without the support from U.S. Northern Command and National Guard Bureau, along with all of the participants showing up to test our plans and procedures for emergency response.”

Applied Training Solutions was responsible for simulating the tactical and media environments for the exercise. By using ATSsim Training, a constructive sim that replicates on-ground movement of military assets, and ATSsim Media, a media and social media emulation platform, ATS was able to provide unmatched realism to the training exercise.

“We’ll take the lessons learned, best practices, and improved procedures gathered from participants and improve our plans for future responses,” said Koontz. “The Alaska Organized Militia, together with emergency managers and interagency partners, remains a ready, relevant team of tested and integrated professionals who are resourced and trained to meet the needs of the state and nation.”

Overall, the exercise was a success and the ATS team was able to assist the Alaska National Guard in identifying their strengths and weaknesses and stay ready for their real-world missions.

As a leader in emergency preparedness training and readiness, ATS continues to actively work to deliver innovative, experience-based disaster-preparedness exercises solutions for local, state, and federal agencies to protect communities. 

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