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Homeland Security

Emergency Responders Evaluate Preparedness

May 08, 2007
BY Don Wagner

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 8, 2007) - Government agencies and emergency responders who participated in last week's Ardent Sentry-Northern Edge '07 exercise in Providence, R.I., are analyzing data this week to evaluate their response to "Hurricane Yvette," a fictional Catogory-3 hurricane that hit the coast of Rhode Island May 3.

The exercise was hosted by the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Army North.

ARNORTH's largest and most complex exercise, AS-NE '07 gave federal, state and local authorities the opportunity to work together in a simulated disaster response.

Members of the NORAD, Federal Emergency Management Agency, all branches of the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard and various other federal, state, and local emergency-response organizations took part in the exercise.

"Army North works daily with federal and state planners to prepare for defense support to civil authorities," said Col. Frank Kosich, ARNORTH's liaison to Boston's FEMA regional office.

"We purposely built a sense of urgency into the exercise to bring out the best in the people here," said James Russo, FEMA's federal coordinating officer at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency in Cranston, R.I. "With training, we will get better and better."

Exercise participants repeatedly commented on the value of the training and coordination that resulted from their joint efforts, but they also look forward to the conclusions that will come from it.

"We want to learn how to do a better job of anticipating needs and provide more timely responses," said AS-NE '07 operations officer Lt. Col. Joe Stawick.

Other disaster training exercises related to AS-NE '07 are ongoing across the country through May 18.

ARNORTH is based at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

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