Fort Stewart Public Affairs
From April 19-21, Department of the Army soldiers and civilians from Fort Stewart Airfield Garrisons and the Fighter Army participated in a large-scale shielding exercise designed to test the response of urgency while training for real-world threats.
Stewart Guardian is a large-scale emergency response exercise that involves the participation of multiple agencies. It was designed to keep the communities of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield safe and secure by practicing response times and testing emergency plans.
“We are performing many different functions as part of the large-scale exercise to make sure the community stays safe,” said Beau Bradley, emergency planning officer.
Facilitating such a large-scale exercise requires a great deal of planning and coordination between multiple agencies. Bradley said planning meetings for the exercise began more than six months before the actual execution. Bradley said he works hard to keep abreast of ever-changing threats.
“We have what we call emerging threats. Some of those threats are increased cyberattacks from the wrong people, different kinds of technical things that they might use,” Bradley said, “I read a lot of data to make our exercise program as realistic as possible.
Stewart Guardian’s intention is to prepare for real-world threats by identifying areas that need updating or changing and addressing those concerns. One of those items was an alternate location for the Emergency Family Assistance Center at Hunter Army Airfield. An EFAC is a one-stop-shop comprising multiple service agencies designed to quickly assist soldiers and families in the recovery process after a significant event.
Overall the exercise was a success with a few areas identified for improvement. The management of the installation was pleased with the rigor of the exercise.
“I thought it was a really honest look at our emergency response plans. Like any training event, we have good things and we have things we can tighten up. Overall, we have did a great job with the level of response and communication that took place,” said Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Manuel Ramirez.
The next large-scale facilities exercise will take place in December and will be externally evaluated by a team from the US Army Facilities Management Command. Follow the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield digital media platforms for more information on the facilities’ exercise programs.