Key Leader Workshop Strengthens Partnerships

LANSING, MI, UNITED STATES 10.05.2018 Story by Sgt. 1st Class Helen Miller  Michigan National Guard National Guard units face some extreme challenges with this type of mission as they are spread […]

LANSING, MI, UNITED STATES

10.05.2018

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Helen Miller 

Michigan National Guard

National Guard units face some extreme challenges with this type of mission as they are spread out in several different states and are made up of all components to include, Active Duty, and Reserve Soldiers. Training together and making sure everyone is prepared and on the same sheet of music can be an issue.

With that in mind, the 46th Military Police Command (Task Force 46), hosted a C2CRE (Command and Control Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Response Element) Key Leader Workshop In Detroit, Mich., Sept 17-21, 2018.

The workshop’s intent was to build and strengthen individual and unit relationships across all of Task Force 46 formations, to provide command intent and guidance for mission preparations and execution, and to establish a common understanding of standards, policies, procedures and requirements. The workshop also helped assess overall unit and deployment readiness as well as identify opportunities to improve readiness with the CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Response Enterprise .

“The biggest benefit of this workshop is to bring together the experienced units that have been on mission over the previous year, with the units that are coming on mission for the follow on year in order to exchange lessons learned and build relationships where they can communicate and share experiences and help the new units get off to a positive and successful start.” said Brig. Gen. Paul Rogers, Deputy Commander, 46th Military Police Command.

The National Guard Soldiers and units involved in this workshop generally spend their drill time training for our Nation’s worst day, in the event of CBRN attack on U.S. soil. The Task force consists of members of National Guard units from 12 states as well as Army Reserve and Active Duty. The soldiers need to be prepared to report immediately to their armories, prep their vehicles, obtain situational awareness, and travel to the disaster area. They will then prepare to work with first-responders to help with recovery operations.

“This is not an easy situation to think about or train for but the units need to be prepared to work together as a team if it happens,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lauren Burtts, the unit’s readiness noncommissioned officer. “Getting together regularly and having workshops and planning meetings help the units get to know who they will be working with. The workshop can also help the leadership plan and prepare to be ready when the call comes.”

Capt. Jay Falcon, and his team, 119th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, New Jersey National Guard, participate in a Key Leader Workshop, Sept. 18-20, 2018. The workshop was hosted by the 46th Military Police Command, Michigan National Guard, based in Lansing, Mich. ( Michigan National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st. Class Helen Miller)

During the workshop Soldiers became familiar with the mission, discuss National Guard Bureau support, training requirements, logistical requirements, operational requirements, and a variety of other topics.

Capt. Jay Falcon, Training Officer, 119th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, New Jersey National Guard, whose unit is new to the mission this year said, “We are the C2CRE response element, we are the ones that can go out and work directly with the public, help them get out of the area, and assist the first-responders in their efforts.” Falcon also stated that, “Water, fuel, resupply of food and other issues are the things we will be dealing with. Being able to come to Michigan and get together and talk with the units coming off mission about their best practices helps us from reinventing the wheel and helps us to be able to improve even more on the processes.”

“The Key Leader Workshop is important for many reason,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Stone, Commander of Task Force 46, “the units coming on this mission are incredibly competent, and many of our units come from hurricane states, which have lots of experience dealing with disaster type scenarios. They also have domestic operation experience. They have the training but they are new to this particular mission. It’s very important to me as the Commanding General for the new units to come meet with the headquarters, to understand the expectations of myself, Lt. Gen. Buchanan and U.S. Army North before they go on mission. Before we get the training we will conduct together.”

“I personally enjoy being able to drill down with individual units and their individual readiness problems. We have active duty units, we have Army Reserve unit and several states. Not every organization operates the same, and this gives us a platform to establish expectations. We are here to help them and figure out where there resource challenges are. Some units may have issues with budget or training, or there are logistics complexities,” said Stone.

Stone also stated that, “We are authorized up to 1500 Soldiers for this mission, but we do not have that many. So many of the capabilities that we get are portions of units. So we have to be able to get Soldiers that are traditional and not full time, spun up on the processes and systems, so they can take these things back to their headquarters.”

According to Maj. Gen. Stone, this is America’s most important mission. This workshop was all about readiness, and you just can’t wave a magic wand as a two star general and expect readiness to happen. “We all have to work at it together,” he concluded.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that Task Force 46th is equipped and postured to provide ready, trained and relevant forces to quickly respond to national emergencies in all operational environments.

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