DVIDS – News – Oregon Guards Train With Civilian Law Enforcement On Rapid Response Techniques



PORTLAND, Oregon – When disaster strikes and civil authorities are overwhelmed, local governments have another resource for help. The National Guard Reaction Force (NGRF) is a specialized group of Army and Air National Guards designed to strengthen U.S. state and territory agencies during natural disasters and civil unrest. The Oregon NGRF is made up of Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers from the 1186th Military Police Company and Oregon Air National Guard Airmen from the 142nd Security Forces Squadron (SFS) , 142nd Fighter Wing and 173rd SFS, 173rd Fighter Wing.

In the event that further assistance is required or anticipated, the Oregon NGRF can be activated to replace the requesting agency. However, when these crisis situations arise, communication and cooperation between civilian agencies and the National Guard must be transparent. That’s why the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training hosts an annual rapid response training event that allows multiple civilian and military law enforcement agencies to train together. and become familiar with each other’s techniques and procedures.

“If we don’t know their tactics and procedures and they’re unfamiliar with how we operate, that will only create a lot of confusion on the line when they actually need us, and those are stressful times when we don’t have time to figure it out, ”said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Rich, Superintendent of Administration at the 142nd SFS.

Lt. Ryan Lee, general manager of the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Unit, said having integrated training with members of the Civilian Law Enforcement and Guard is extremely valuable. national.

“Ensuring that we are working with a common operating language and common expectations is huge during an emergency of sufficient scope and scale to call on the resources the National Guard can draw upon,” said said Lee.

The Oregon State Police (OSP) and PPB primarily lead the training. Soldiers and Airmen from the Oregon NGRF, along with 15 other civilian agencies from as far away as Miami-Dade County, Fla., Participated in this year’s training event which took place from 3 to April 6, 2018, at Camp Rilea, in Warrenton, Oregon.

“We try to rotate people at least every three years to keep them up to date with the latest and greatest riot response training so that we can better integrate with civilians,” Rich added. “That way when we walk in it’s not as much of a shock and it builds trust and relationships with civilian agencies. “

The NGRF can respond to a wide variety of situations, including event security, protection of the food supply, and crowd control. The group is designed to provide an initial force of 75 to 125 people within eight hours of a request and an additional 375 within 24 hours. With each state, territory, and District of Columbia operating their own NGRF, creating a standard can be difficult.

Rich said one of his goals with the Oregon NGRF is to establish themselves as a “gold standard” for training standards.

“If we are able to establish that and become the national pioneer of the Air National Guard and Army National Guard, we can help train other units,” he said. “We can help test the equipment in the field; we can participate in joint national exercises and establish a national standard.

Recently, the Oregon NGRF has taken a big step towards achieving this goal. Rich said his team had had more opportunities to take leadership positions within the group, showing a higher level of trust between agencies.

“We didn’t have an army [instructors] in this particular training, we have always been the students or the administrative facilitator. This year, Tech. Sgt. Nate Page is the first military [instructor] be accepted by [PPB] and OSP to help with teaching and student assessment, and that’s a huge first step for us, ”said Rich.

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Nathan Page, unit training manager at 142nd FSS, has been the liaison between civilian authorities and his NGRF unit for several years, ensuring that both sides connect to train successfully. He believes his assignment as an instructor will help strengthen the relationship.

“It makes it a different animal for them to have to work with people they’ve never worked with before,” Page said, adding that this training will make it “a lot easier for them. [us] to get closer to civilian officers and help them when they need it.

Lee added, “Having face-to-face contact and side-to-side training helps alleviate uncertainty and discomfort. The time for us to get to know each other and what we each bring to the table is not in the midst of an emergency but before it. This program is helping to close that gap and make communities across our state safer for it. “

The National Guard Response Force has unique capabilities and equipment to assist civilian law enforcement when needed. Additionally, as Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen, members of the Oregon NGRF service are also members of the community in which they serve and have connections within the communities in which they live.

Rich pointed out that in times of major crisis, civil authorities take the lead: “We’re just here to help until they can get back on their feet and take care of it themselves.”

Date taken: 04.05.2018
Date posted: 05/16/2018 3:54 PM
Story ID: 277267

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