CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Members from the Texas National Guard were to stage a mass casualty exercise at Naval Air Station Kingsville on Saturday as part of the agency’s effort to make community connections as they work alongside civilian responders in the event of an emergency.
Sgt. First Class Daniel Griego, who works in the public information office of the Joint Task Force 136 (Maneuver Enhancement Brigade) said the exercise also helps to keep their response skills fresh.
Griego said the organization holds multiple exercises per year.
“We use this time to meet local police and fire chiefs so that in the future, we’re not meeting them for the first time in an emergency,” Griego said. “We’re a life saving organization who’s committed to serving the citizens in Texas, and during these scenarios we remember we’ll be the ones who are called in first.”
About 400 National Guard personnel and more than 70 vehicles will participate in the exercise, officials said. The exercise is also an annual training requirement for the organization.
The scenarios will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the south field portion of the base. Officials said residents may notice a large contingent of military vehicles on Highway 77 leading to the air station. There will be no impact to normal operations at the air station during this training event, officials said.
Griego said each time the organization meets, the scenarios are slightly different. Saturday’s will have two emergency situations occur simultaneously.
“The overall situation will be us responding to an explosion at the University of Texas at Austin Memorial Stadium,” Griego said. “It’s not uncommon for us to have training sessions in a smaller city so we don’t disrupt a major one.”
They’ll also use an aircraft mass casualty scenario, testing teams on command and control, search and extraction, decontamination and medical response. The NAS Kingsville Fire and Emergency Services personnel will provide support for the exercise, officials said.