Guarding Cell Towers Is Part of National Guard Training
Soldiers from the Maryland Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment are participating in multiple exercises as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Level Exercise 2018 which simulates a catastrophic regional hurricane making landfall. This scenario involved a cell tower that sustained damages from the high winds of a fictional hurricane, according to a story on the National Guard’s website. “Our job is to secure the area and wait for the mechanic to move in,” said Staff Sgt. James Slayman, a section leader assigned to D Company, 1-175th Infantry Regiment.
The success of a mission like this is important due to the extensive reliance on cell towers for communication during a hurricane, including for first responders. Training exercises help maintain the readiness of service members in the event of a natural disaster. “Training like this occurs multiple times throughout the year and troops are continuously demonstrating their understanding of what’s necessary to complete the mission,” said Slayman.
Vigilant Guard is an exercise that allows the Maryland Military Department, along with 42 federal, state, and local agencies, a chance to collaborate and test interoperability as part of a national level exercise. The agencies are evaluated on preparing for and recovering from a catastrophic hurricane making landfall, according to the National Guard.