NEANG SFS takes on Patriot 21

  • Published

VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Wis. — Airmen of the 155th Security Forces Squadron joined other National Guard units, civilian partners, and local agencies at PATRIOT 21 for Domestic Operations training exercise June 10 - 19, 2021, to work through a mock natural disaster.

PATRIOT is sponsored by the National Guard Bureau A3 and accredited by the Joint National Training Capability Program. The exercise is designed for civilian emergency management and responders to work with military entities in the same manner that they would during disasters, such as an earthquake that causes damage, casualties, and the need for first responders.

2nd Lt. Dan Dibbern, 155th Security Forces Squadron operations officer, talked about the exercise scenario and all the moving components of it.

“The exercise was based around a scenario where an earthquake had displaced a lot of resources and people in Wisconsin,” Dibbern said. “We ran missions from three different communities. How one mission looked was, we got an inject from exercise control that people were massing at a town square demanding water, so as a security forces team we could go set up a distribution center.”

After talking about the different missions they ran at PATRIOT 21, Dibbern led into the importance of the training.

“The integration piece is something that doesn’t happen by itself, so this was a chance for us to practice that huge muscle movement of getting up here and responding,” Dibbern said. “When it's real-world this isn’t going to be completely new or the first time we have to do it.”

Tech. Sgt. Tyler Macnab, with the 155th Security Forces Squadron, added to why this training is essential.

“The importance of doing this was coming together from all the different states and agencies to learn how to support our local and state agencies because they are the ones who will call us during a natural disaster,” Macnab said. “Being able to have the same training from around the country is like coming together as one unit.”

The 155th Air Refueling Wing’s mission statement is “Deliver fuel, cargo, people and support anywhere.” This mission statement rang true for this exercise, all 16 members volunteered to support this exercise and in doing so gained valuable training.

When asked how the training adds to the 155th ARW mission, Macnab answered.

“Being part of PATRIOT 21 is a huge asset to the 155th because there are so many units there getting the same training, so that way they can call on us or we can call on them,” Macnab said. “Having the Nebraska State Patrol there and being able to work with them was a huge team boost because we got to see some of the troopers we would be working with if we were called to assist them.”

Likewise, Dibbern also saw what the training brought to the 155th ARW.

“Completing PATRIOT 21 provides our unit a credential so to speak,” Dibbern said. “It definitely shows our capabilities by having the Airmen, the equipment and the willingness to do it.”

Airmen from the 155th SFS not only learned valuable training to bring back home, but they also stood out according to Dibbern.

“We had top performers consistently,” Dibbern said. “Each night we had NCOs and Airmen identified from the 155th by training advisors conducting the exercises. Nebraska definitely met the expectations that were set for us.”

Ultimately Airmen from the 155th SFS learned new skills and stood out at PATRIOT 21. Not only was this training good for the 155th ARW, but the state of Nebraska as a whole said Dibbern.

“This is a worthwhile investment for the state of Nebraska because for the most part we are a responder state,” Dibbern said. “Not only is our state resilient, but so are our people, so we are usually called upon by other states. I appreciate the opportunity to come up here and receive this training.”