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FEMA conducts exercise on Wright-Patt

  • Published
  • By Matthew Clouse
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — The installation played host to a Federal Emergency Management Agency exercise as about 90 logistics officials participated in Eagle Rising.

The weeklong national-level field training exercise took place May 16-20 on the Area B flightline next to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

“We chose Wright Patterson because the layout of the site gives us more space and opportunity to practice with other agencies such as the state of Ohio Emergency Management Agency,” said Amber Gray, FEMA staging field operations leader.

FEMA was responding to a simulated flood disaster in Dayton and the space was needed to accommodate more than 10 semitrucks. The trucks delivered essential supplies such as water, food and fuel to the local community.

Personnel from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, California and Georgia got the opportunity to practice and learn different aspects of logistics such as receiving distribution, capital-property management and federal staging.

“Each truck is an immense amount of money,” said Carla Gammon, FEMA deputy assistant administrator for logistics. “We have a tracking system so we know where the trucks are at the national level. We have a digital map and it’s got a dot for every truck. So each truck has a transponder that beams to a satellite. We order the truck, the trucks arrive, and now we’re receiving and logging it.”

Eagle Rising also provided training between FEMA and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Ohio EMA’s primary mission is to interface with local, state and federal agencies in an effort to bring resources and support to Ohioans impacted by the disaster.

When a real-world disaster occurs, such as a flood or tornado, the state initiates the request for federal support.

“Anytime that there’s a need or any type of disruption of commodity supplies to the general public, that’s where we come in,” said Phil Johnson, Ohio EMA logistics chief.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency asks for supplies and FEMA is responsible for the orders and deliveries, officials said. The state then needs to find a location with a flat, paved area that is easily accessible for semitrucks and the public.

“During the exercise, we’ll be running a lot of scenarios to make requests for supplies and distributing to the public,” Johnson added.

FEMA was officially created in 1979 through an executive order by President Jimmy Carter and employs more than 20,000 people nationwide. National-level exercises such as Eagle Rising build upon real-world incidents to make sure the nation is better prepared when the next disaster strikes.