NORFOLK (NNS) -- U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Command concluded its participation in the Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA)-focused Exercise Ardent Sentry 2016 (AS16) June 16.
Ardent Sentry is an annual North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) exercise focused on DSCA scenarios to support civil authorities with military capabilities to save lives, prevent human suffering, and mitigate property damage.
In this year's AS16 scenario, a simulated 9.0-magnitude earthquake occurred in the Cascadia Subduction Zone followed by a tsunami and several aftershocks along the Pacific Northwest coast of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.
More than 100 Navy reservists supported AS16 at USFF, contributing their unique skill set to further help the Navy prepare for a natural disaster like the one in this year's scenario and ensure Sailors are prepared to respond. Reservists served in mission-critical areas including planning, operations, logistics, supply, public affairs, medical, legal, and more.
By fully integrating with their active duty counterparts, the combined team of reservists and active-duty Sailors replicated a real-world disaster relief situation in which reservists would be called upon to provide additional support.
"Following the initial 72 hours immediately after a situation like this occurs, reserve personnel are critical to sustain longer-term support and operations while enabling our active-duty counterparts to continue other critical missions," said Capt. Gerald Murphy, current operations officer at USFF.
Navy reservists at USFF and throughout the fleet consistently leverage both their military and civilian experiences to provide support and help commands achieve their missions.
"AS16 provided an eye-opening view on the magnitude of damage that could potentially impact millions of our fellow American citizens," said Capt. Larry Watkins, who served as a Crisis Action Team chief during the exercise. "It's always been an honor to serve, but it's especially satisfying to help right here at home."
"It's great to put our reserve training to use in a 'real-world' situation while working directly with our active-duty counterparts," said Cryptologic Technician Technical 2nd Class Dylan Harris. "It gives us a great sense of accomplishment when we can successfully come together to help our country during a time of need."
AS16 is part of NORAD and USNORTHCOM's annual exercise program and is designed to provide a highly complex, integrated training environment where the military can interface with federal, state and local emergency responders and practice their procedures and validate their processes. USFF serves as the Navy operational commander for USNORTHCOM during disaster preparedness/response and DSCA type exercises.