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FEMA, National Guard launch exercise simulating response to massive earthquake

FEMA, National Guard launch exercise simulating response to massive earthquake


During the next ten days, the Tennessee Military Department will participate in a large-scale emergency response exercise: Shaken Fury 2019.

Shaken Fury is a national-level emergency response and recovery exercise hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that will take place in various locations throughout the Southeastern United States.

“Emergency management has a proud tradition in Tennessee and a legacy of leadership and innovation transcending to the national level,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “The Shaken Fury exercise with our local, state, and federal partners is an opportunity to improve and forge our capabilities, and gain experience so we are ready to answer when our fellow Tennesseans and fellow Americans call for help.”

During the multi-agency/phased exercise, the Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, along with 12 other agencies, will respond to a simulated “no-notice” 7.7 magnitude earthquake occurring along the New Madrid Seismic Zone near Memphis. More than 1,050 Soldiers and Airmen from Tennessee will conduct various scenarios to test and exercise their response to the disaster.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, studies have concluded that the New Madrid seismic zone generated magnitude 7 to 8 earthquakes about every 500 years during the past 1,200 years.

“Our state mission is to support local and state first responders and emergency management personnel during a catastrophic emergency by providing a trained and ready response force,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General. “During emergencies, the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard bring unique skills and equipment that can assist in any situation throughout our great state.”

While much of the exercise will be conducted at Tennessee’s Joint Force Headquarters in Nashville, there will be ground and air equipment and personnel participating in scenarios throughout the state.

  • May 31 and June 2: The Tennessee Air National Guard will employ a remotely piloted aircraft, the MQ-9, in conjunction with state and federal emergency management teams to assist in search and rescue in the simulated disaster area.
  • June 1: Medical units from the Tennessee National Guard (Army and Air), and State Guard will conduct a joint mass casualty exercise at the Smyrna airport. Cadets from the Tennessee Volunteer Challenge Academy will serve as patients to be loaded for simulated evacuation on a Memphis-based C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
  • June 1-2: The 134th Air Refueling Wing, based in Knoxville, will work alongside personnel from the 30th Troop Command, based in Tullahoma, to transfer fuel from a KC-135 Fuel Tanker to a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT Fuel Tanker).
  • June 3: The 118th Civil Engineer Squadron, based in Nashville, will transfer 100-kilowatt-hour generators to the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Engineer Battalion, based in Lebanon.
  • June 1-5: The 164th Airlift Wing will conduct an air movement exercise transporting critical assets of Smyrna’s 45th Civil Support Team back to Memphis. Once on the ground, the 45th CST will conduct rubble pile training in the simulated affected areas.
  • June 1-7: 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion will fly missions in support of Operation Unified Response under the umbrella of Shaken Fury. This operation is the largest Urban Search and Rescue Training Operation ever conducted by FEMA. The 1-230th will fly search and rescue teams in and around the area of Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Indiana (simulated Memphis area) from multiple states throughout the country to include search and rescue teams from Australia and Canada. They will conduct sling load and hoist operations, mass casualty events and aerial observation and reconnaissance missions in the simulated affected areas.
  • June 4-6: The State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) in Nashville will activate to exercise response coordination between TEMA, Emergency Service Coordinators with many departments of the State of Tennessee, non-governmental liaisons, private sector partners, and federal officials. TEMA will devote June 6, to catastrophic recovery coordination and planning among stakeholders.

For more information on the exercise, please contact the Tennessee Military Department’s Joint Strategic Communications Office at 615-313-0663.

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