News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

October 5, 2012

181st Medical element to deploy this weekend

TERRE HAUTE — The 181st Intelligence Wing’s Medical Element of the 19th CERFP will deploy from Terre Haute on Saturday to participate in a disaster response exercise hosted by IU Health, Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.

The 181st Intelligence Wing’s Medical Support Element and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Task Force 6 will participate in a natural disaster exercise. The exercise scenario involves a hospital becoming damaged by a tornado and forcing the patients to be evacuated to another facility or hospital while simultaneously dealing with those injured by the tornado.

The 19th CERFP is the joint Indiana National Guard’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package. Comprised of Indiana National Guard airmen and soldiers, the disaster response force package’s mission is to come to the aid of the citizens of Indiana in the event of catastrophic disaster whether it be natural or a terrorist attack.     

“The purpose of the exercise is train with state, county, and local agencies to increase our understanding of what we all bring to a disaster response,” said Capt Leanna K. Edwards, Medical Element Operations Officer. “The exercise centers on response to a natural disaster forcing first response organizations to deal with existing patients as well as additional injured personnel.”

Deploying from Terre Haute’s airport at Hulman Field demonstrates one of the many capabilities of the 181st Intelligence Wing’s Medical Element, according to Col. Donald Bonte Jr., commander, 181st Intelligence Wing.  “The 181st plays a key role in CERFP because of its strategic location, infrastructure and well-maintained runways,” Col. Bonte said. “This mission showcases the Wing’s continued readiness and reliability in providing support to the local community in times of crisis.”

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