Illinois Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Kerr
Illinois Army National Guard Spc. Slawomir Latka, with Company C, 341st Military Intelligence, 65th Troop Command, standing, center, explains earthquake response operations to Lt. Col. Piotr Lisowski, left, and Maj. Zbgniew Smykovski, right, of the Polish Land Forces.
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois National Guard hosted a delegation of officers with the Polish Land Forces for a weeklong study of military support in domestic operations May 12-16 at the Joint Task Force Illinois training operations center, based at the 183rd Air Operations Group in Springfield.
The delegation began their trip by participating in an exercise that simulated a 7.2 earthquake in southern Illinois.
The Joint Task Force Illinois exercise was designed to prepare staff elements for rapidly responding to a major earthquake along the New Madrid and Wabash faults in southern Illinois. The Polish delegation engaged in planning and operations functions at every level of the exercises.
The delegation is part of the Illinois National Guard’s State Partnership Program. The program is designed to enhance a commander’s ability to foster enduring civil-military relationships that improve long-term international security while building partnership capacity. Poland is shaping a more robust response capability in support of civilian authorities during natural disasters.
“This was a tremendous opportunity for the Illinois National Guard to demonstrate for our partners from Poland how we plan, prepare and conduct a complex exercise to support civil authorities,” said Maj. Doug Coop, State Partnership Program coordinator. “The Illinois National Guard has worked with Poland for the past 21 years on a multitude of security cooperation engagements.
For more than a decade, our units have co-deployed with Polish Armed Forces to Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a dynamic and critically relevant relationship we continue to grow; sharing in the ways we support our civil authorities in times of crisis anchors that relationship in the missions that are critical to both of our nations,” added Coop.