CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Ga., April 1, 2017 – The Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) recently participated in a multi-state, multi-day training exercise. Known as Vigilant Guard, this joint regional training exercise was sponsored by U.S. Northern Command, in conjunction with the National Guard Bureau. The exercise was conducted at multiple locations in Georgia at the end of March and involved numerous civilian and military participants. The exercise was designed to provide the Georgia Department of Defense (GaDoD) a realistic training scenario in order to test and improve relationships between various local, state, regional, and federal partners.
Vigilant Guard featured a diverse array of training scenarios such as Evacuations, Operations Centers, Public Health Support, Search and Rescue, Shelter Operations, and Sustainment. Along with the GaDoD, Vigilant Guard involved a cross-section of state partners including the Georgia Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Public Health, and Transportation, as well as the Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Ports Authority, and Georgia State Patrol. Along with Clay National Guard Center, numerous other military posts were utilized during Vigilant Guard including the Air Dominance Center, Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, and Moody Air Force Base.
The GSDF provided approximately 300 of the 8,000 local, state, and federal participants in Vigilant Guard. By supporting state and federal authorities, the GSDF is an important part of the overall response to real-world natural and manmade disasters. At the conclusion of Vigilant Guard, Brig. Gen. Tom Danielson, GSDF Commander, wrote of the participants, “You are the best example of tenacity, dedication, and singular professionalism.”