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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.
Indiana Guard Reserve Soldiers stayed busy during the 2013 Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Guard Reservists helped several runners who needed help during the 37th annual race. The IGR Soldiers also kept a close watch on anything suspicious in the aftermath of what happened at the Boston Marathon in April. More than 30-thousand runners and walkers hit the streets of the 13.1 mile course on a cool, cloudy day. Hundreds of IGR Soldiers also blocked off busy streets, keeping the runners, walkers and spectators safe. The IGR was joined by dozens of students from the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy.
The Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, oversaw the promotion of Hal Grigdesby to Brigadier General of the Indiana Guard Reserve. Brig. Gen. Grigdesby will now be the Deputy Commander of Operations / Training for the IGR. Previously, Grigdesby was Chief of Staff. Grigdesby's friends and family were on hand to congratulate him on the new position.
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.