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173rd Security Forces Support VIGILANT GUARD

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Matthew Taylor, of the 173rd Security Forces Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard, fires his shotgun while in a defensive position on the small weapons range at Fort Richardson, Alaska, April 28, 2010. Taylor is participating in exercise Vigilant Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Matthew Taylor, of the 173rd Security Forces Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard, fires his shotgun while in a defensive position on the small weapons range at Fort Richardson, Alaska, April 28, 2010. Taylor is participating in exercise Vigilant Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen/Released)

Les Leturno gives instructions on shotgun techniques in combat situations to several U.S. Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Oregon and Alaska Air and Army National Guards during a small arms class at Fort Richardson, Alaska, April 28, 2010, during Vigilant Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen/Released)

Les Leturno gives instructions on shotgun techniques in combat situations to several U.S. Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Oregon and Alaska Air and Army National Guards during a small arms class at Fort Richardson, Alaska, April 28, 2010, during Vigilant Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Matthew Taylor looks at his target hits on the small weapons range at Fort Richardson, Alaska, April 28, 2010. Taylor is assigned to the 173rd Security Forces Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard and is participating in exercise Vigilant Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Matthew Taylor looks at his target hits on the small weapons range at Fort Richardson, Alaska, April 28, 2010. Taylor is assigned to the 173rd Security Forces Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard and is participating in exercise Vigilant Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen/Released)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Nine members of the 173rd Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard (ORANG), participated in the annual exercise VIGILANT GUARD in Anchorage, Alaska late April 2010. They joined with fifty other state and federal organizations to take part in this disaster-based training scenario that tests the coordination of these disaster preparedness organizations.

One of the main objectives of this exercise was to reinforce the bond between the National Guard and local first responders so that should an actual large-scale disaster or emergency occur, these organizations will have a better understanding of how to work with each other.

"It reinforces those relationships that we said, and I've always professed, are critical if we are going to be successful in a large-scale response," said Army MG Thomas H. Katkus, Adjutant General for the Alaska National Guard.

The mission of the 173rd SFS was that of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in the National Guard Reaction Force system, responding to civil disturbances, community policing and joint operations with civil law enforcement.

"We received some good joint operations experience. We were also designated as trainers for Alaska and Idaho QRF personnel. We trained and acted as subject matter experts for the exercise scenarios," said Master Sgt. Cody Pemberton, the exercise Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of the 173rd SFS.

The members who participated in this exercise demonstrated the level of excellence and professionalism that has become standard for the 173rd Fighter Wing.

"You know we are doing a good job, when those in the leadership positions looked to the 173rd and 142nd SFS every time there was a need to get a job done or the need for advice," added Pemberton.

Airman First Class William Griffith and Martin Monty, 173rd SFS members, were recognized by Brigadier General Bruce Prunk, the Assistant Adjutant General, ORANG, for their outstanding performance during the exercise.

"The 173rd Security Forces did an outstanding job, they represented ORANG and the 173rd Fighter Wing with professionalism and excellence," said Pemberton.