By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff
NEWARK, N.J. — More than 20 New York Air National Guard Airmen returned home from Newark International. Airport April 7, 2005, after participating in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Top Officials 3” exercise.
Medics from the 139th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and an LC-130 Hercules flight crew with the 139th Air Squadron, Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia, N.Y., provided medical staging and simulated medical airlift in one of five full-scale, Congressionally directed, weapons of mass destruction exercises that took place throughout Connecticut and New Jersey.
The medics worked with local civilian responders, law enforcement, and emergency medics to process more than 70 patient volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, according to Lt. Col. Mary Brandt, 139th AES commander. The patients were prepared and evaluated for C-130 airlift from a temporary medical staging facility set up in an aircraft hangar. Additionally, the group provided training on various aeromedical systems.
The one-day exercise included a simulated biological attack with resulting injuries spreading to nearby counties.
As part of the exercise, people in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., conducted a planned scenario, Homeland Security officials said.
A total of 10,000 people from 27 federal agencies, and more than 200 government as well as private sector organizations participated, said Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary.