USA — Face of Defense: NCO Leads Guard Response Team

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — The Mis­souri Army Nation­al Guard’s Sgt. Maj. Kevin E. Smith is the net­work oper­a­tions man­ag­er and non­com­mis­sioned officer–in-charge of the Nation­al Guard’s newest Domes­tic All-Haz­ards Response Team.

Army Sgt. Maj. Kevin E. Smith is the net­work oper­a­tions sergeant as well as the non­com­mis­sioned offi­cer-in-charge of the Nation­al Guard’s Domes­tic All-Haz­ards Response Team-West. Smith is assigned to the 35th Infantry Divi­sion, Mis­souri Army Guard.
Source: U.S. Air Force pho­to by Mas­ter Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Nation­al Guard Bureau
Click to enlarge

With 31 years of ser­vice, Smith knows a thing or two about the Guard’s dis­as­ter response capa­bil­i­ties. From dead­ly heat waves, floods and hur­ri­canes – includ­ing Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na – Smith’s ser­vice with the 35th Infantry Divi­sion has mobi­lized him on state active duty many times to sup­port his gov­er­nor and gov­er­nors of oth­er states.

“The divi­sion was actu­al­ly the Nation­al Guard’s C2 [com­mand and con­trol] part of Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na [for Louisiana],” Smith said. “We had a work cell at Bell Chas­se [Naval Air Sta­tion].”

Smith and oth­ers from the 35th divi­sion deployed here last week to par­tic­i­pate in an exer­cise that tests the DART, which can be request­ed by state gov­er­nors who need resources to assist civil­ian respon­ders dur­ing a major dis­as­ter.

The 35th division’s DART-West is one of only two DARTs that encom­pass the Guard’s major dis­as­ter coor­di­na­tion for the nation. The Penn­syl­va­nia Guard’s 28th Infantry Divi­sion runs DART-East.

DARTs pro­vide dis­as­ter response assis­tance at a state governor’s request when the state’s inter­nal assets are exhaust­ed or unavail­able, Smith explained. DARTs also can pro­vide assets, he added, through hur­ri­cane matri­ces and emer­gency man­age­ment assis­tance com­pact agree­ments.

“We find those assets,” he said, explain­ing that the DART estab­lish­es force pack­ages that mobi­lize and deploy to a dis­as­ter area to meet the iden­ti­fied capa­bil­i­ty gaps.

Those pack­ages, Smith said, can pro­vide Army and Air Guard capa­bil­i­ties, includ­ing com­mand and con­trol, spe­cial response teams, avi­a­tion, mil­i­tary police, engi­neer, trans­porta­tion, med­ical, chem­i­cal and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, among oth­ers.

Army offi­cials point­ed out why infantry divi­sions are qual­i­fied to run DART in the service’s 2010 Pos­ture State­ment: “The DART con­cept uti­lizes the unique capa­bil­i­ties of a divi­sion head­quar­ters for plan­ning and coor­di­nat­ing the employ­ment of units.”

Hav­ing deployed twice with the 35th division’s head­quar­ters, Smith pos­sess­es the req­ui­site qual­i­ties and expe­ri­ence need­ed for a DART.

He deployed to Multi­na­tion­al Divi­sion North in Bosnia as an oper­a­tions NCO for the com­mu­ni­ca­tions office there. He also deployed to Camp Bond­steel, the main Army base in Koso­vo, and served as a first sergeant for mil­i­tary intel­li­gence.

DART mem­bers also use their skills and expe­ri­ences from their civil­ian occu­pa­tions, said Smith, who employs his skill as a com­mer­cial telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­ist in inter­na­tion­al cir­cuits and lines.

In his DART role, Smith gets com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems up and work­ing when the team’s coor­di­na­tion cell is acti­vat­ed. In the exer­cise, the DART sim­u­lat­ed its acti­va­tion for a series of domes­tic dis­as­ter sce­nar­ios, includ­ing a wild­fire, flood, hur­ri­cane, earth­quake and ter­ror­ism.

If a DART is ever acti­vat­ed to estab­lish real-world force pack­ages, Smith said, then “some­thing very bad has hap­pened” to the nation.

“We hope we nev­er have to use the DART,” he said. “I hope my job is always easy … I nev­er want to go to a big dis­as­ter.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →