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Oregon Natl. Guard to take part in statewide quake-response drill


Oregon Army and Air National Guard units are scheduled to participate in the Pathfinder Minuteman 2015 Exercise at Camp Rilea in Warrenton on Aug. 4-5.

Pathfinder Minutemen 2015 is a Joint Multiagency Cascadia Subduction Zone Response exercise and conference sponsored by Oregon’s Joint Force Headquarters, and hosted by the 173rd Fighter Wing’s Medical Group.

More than 225 participants from U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), U.S. Air Force Reserve, Oregon Army and Air National Guard, civilian organizations, and state and county agencies. Air National Guard units from six states are expected to participate.

There are currently two C-130 missions as well as a rotary aeromedical evacuation training scheduled to take place during the Pathfinder Minuteman exercise.

From the Oregon National Guard, the 173rd Medical Group, 142nd CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP), 142nd Force Support Squadron, 125th Special Tactics Squadron and the Oregon National Guard’s Medical Command and Oregon Army National Guard aviation units from Pendleton and Salem are scheduled to participate.

According to researchers, the Pacific Northwest is overdue for a powerful earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or higher due to stresses created by the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Events such as The Great Oregon Shakeout and other notional exercises involving local and regional first responders is geared toward training for such a response scenario.

“In a Cascadia Subduction Zone event, security and medical forces will be critical elements of the initial response,” said Col. Kristen Leist, 173rd Medical Group Commander.

“Pathfinder-Minuteman is an opportunity for military and civilian responders to build relationships as well as train together and learn each other’s capabilities. This type of training and networking opportunity will provide a more seamless medical response when called upon,” she added.

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