Army Guard’s Camp Clark ideal site for 131st BW emergency response training
By 2nd Lt. Justin Clark, 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 08, 2015
CAMP CLARK, Mo. -- The Missouri Army National Guard-maintained Camp Clark provided an environment well-suited for state emergency training for the Air Guard's 131st Bomb Wing in early June.
Over 60 Citizen-Airmen trained at Camp Clark during the first week of the two-week event. The training, which would otherwise be difficult to replicate at the 131st's home stations of Whiteman Air Force Base and Jefferson Barracks, included first aid refreshers, convoy training, Humvee driving, field skills, and disaster response training.
"State headquarters offered whatever equipment and resources they could spare to help us train for state emergency duty," said Col. Kimbra Sterr, 131st Maintenance Group commander, who initiated the training for the maintenance community and other wing Airmen. "Camp Clark is a prime location for our state emergency training. The support of the Army National Guard not only helps us to be more ready to respond in the event of a state emergency, but also makes use of the resources that we already have."
Along with its federal mission, the Air National Guard stays ready to respond when a state emergency happens. Sterr said that the Army Guard's support provided a chance for the Air and Army Guard to work together, which they would do in the event of a disaster.
"At Whiteman we do so much of our federal B-2 Spirit mission, but we hardly ever get state emergency duty training," said Master Sgt. Jennifer Fanoele, 131st Maintenance Operations Flight programs and resources. "We could never recreate this environment and these facilities at Whiteman."
Fanoele also indicated that the Army National Guard was very helpful in coordinating training, and that any Missouri National Guard unit can use the training facilities at Camp Clark.
Tech. Sgt. Joe Hudson, a technician with the 131st Maintenance Operations Flight, said that the Army National Guard was instrumental in helping to prepare the 131st staff for training, and that the team had many meetings to discuss course material, including teleconferences with the many units that are participating.
"The day we came out, we got trained on the equipment - the Humvee rollover simulator, the convoy training simulator, the small arms simulator - and then we in turn headed up the training [for 131st Airmen]," said Hudson.
Senior Master Sgt. Kirk Lindell, 131st Maintenance Squadron low observable technician, said that the Army National Guard was instrumental in helping to prepare the 131st Airmen for a successful training event.
"This is an Army Guard base, so we had to get their permission," said Lindell. "They took inventory so they knew what was here to get it ready for us, and we hope to leave it in as good of shape as we found it, if not better."
By choosing Camp Clark, the Airmen are joining a training tradition that spans decades, said Maj. Alan Brown, command historian for the Missouri National Guard.
"American service members have been training at Camp Clark since World War II, and the Missouri National Guard has used Camp Clark to train thousands of Guardsmen for overseas service," Brown said. "The facilities, equipment and expertise available at Camp Clark are second to none."
More information on the Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing can be found at http://www.131bw.ang.af.mil/. For more information on the Missouri National Guard, visit http://moguard.com/.