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Over the July 4th weekend, IGR Soldiers didn't just celebrate the holiday; they helped other Hoosiers celebrate safely at two big events. Dozens of IGR members patrolled the streets of Lawrence during the city's Fourth of July parade. The next day, the annual National Guard Association of Indiana Car Show took center stage. Here, IGR members provided security and medical assistance and helped car owners register their wheels for the big event. See the photo gallery of both events here. See all of the NGAI Car Show photos taken by the IGR PAO here.
During this year's Indianapolis 500 Festival, hundreds of Guard Reservists volunteered for many of the annual activities such as the Mini Marathon and the Memorial Service. But this year, IGR Soldiers took on a new responsibility; they provided security, crowd control and traffic assistance during the parade. The mission took place inside and outside Tyndall Armory in downtown Indianapolis. Inside the armory, the IGR secured the facility as volunteers gathered to receive credentials, radios and meals. MG R. Martin Umbarger also visited the armory before his parade appearance. Outside the armory was a parade staging area, where Guard Reservists opened the path for the Indy 500 pace cars and for celebrities such as Governor Mike Pence, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and the legendary Jim Nabors. IGR members also provided medical assistance. The detail was a success and the 500 Festival planners thanked the IGR for the assistance. See the photo gallery of the Memorial Service and Parade here.
SSG Glen Johnson was awarded the COL Wyatt Cole, Soldier of the year award for 2013 in recognition of his military service to the Military Department of Indiana Ceremonial Unit. His selfless dedication to duty, loyalty and respect has distinguished him from his peers by putting in countless hours of support to all aspects of the team when called upon.
There was no shortage of training opportunities for IGR Soldiers during a warm fall weekend at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center.. Hundreds of Guard Reservists spent three days learning new skills and refreshing old ones. IGR Soldiers devoted a good portion of the weekend embracing their new role, training volunteers across the state in POD (point-of-distribution) setup and operation. The IGR will use these new skills at a statewide earthquake drill in 2014. Some of the other activities included search-and-rescue scenarios, a physical training challenge and medical response preparedness. All of the activities will assist IGR members as they respond to emergencies across the state.
In late September, hundreds of emergency workers from across Indiana took part in Tipton Twister at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Ind. The Indiana Guard Reserve hosted the participants at Contingency Operating Base Panther, inside the North Vernon airport. Here, the emergency workers registered for the state-level exercise, parked and staged emergency vehicles, and camped for the night. IGR Soldiers assured that the area was well-organized and safe for the visitors from across Indiana. In addition, the IGR provided VIPs tours of the camp and the training at MUTC.
About two dozen IGR soldiers provided traffic control, security and medical assistance at the annual Blue Star Salute held at Lucas Oil Raceway on 15 June. The Blue Star Celebration is a day to honor and show support for the families of the men and women in uniform. These families sacrifice every day for those who serve our country. The event included flyovers, car and motorcycle events, and appearances by Colts and Pacers cheerleaders and mascots. Click here for a photo gallery of the IGR’s role.
As IGR Soldiers focus on search and rescue missions across Indiana, they are sharing their knowledge with the next generation of responders. Guard Reservists were part of the team that trained more than three dozen Boy Scouts and Explorers in the techniques needed to find missing people. The Scouts learned about navigation, search methods, career opportunities and more. SAR was the focus of the Winter Camporee held at Camp Challenge in Bedford. This is the first time the new Boy Scout SAR merit badge was offered in Indiana. Click here for a slideshow of the training.
Indiana Guard Reserve Soldiers provided security and logistical assistance at the annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Indianapolis. Dozens of Guard Reservists assured that participants were appropriately spaced and safe on the parade route. Medical crews also patrolled the streets looking for visitors who needed any help. Shortly after the parade, a new group of IGR members teamed-up with dozens of other National Guard Soldiers and other volunteers at the first annual Armed Forces Fish Fry in Lafayette. Hundreds of hungry Hoosiers converged on the Indiana National Guard armory to enjoy fish, fries and more, thanks in part to the volunteerism of the IGR.