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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | May 6, 2021

63rd Civil Support Team trains with City of Altus

By Anthony Jones Oklahoma National Guard

Members of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 63rd Civil Support Team partnered with first responders and emergency personnel from the City of Altus for a 72-hour field exercise, May 4-6.

The multi-day training scenario in Altus is part of a series of training exercises that are taking place across Oklahoma and are designed to improve the National Guard unit’s ability to integrate with local emergency management personnel and first responders during natural and man-made disasters.

The 63rd CST is a special purpose unit of the Oklahoma National Guard with a mission to respond to and provide expert support to civilian first responders in the event of chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological and high yield explosive related emergencies.

Capt. Mitchell Bledsoe, operations officer, 63rd CST, said exercises like this are key to building relationships that will be needed during real-world disasters.

“It’s important to know how they operate and how we operate and with this exercise, we’ve already found that we can both be better in certain areas so that the scene gets returned to normalcy as quickly as possible,” Bledsoe said.

As with any emergency in Oklahoma regardless of the cause, the Oklahoma National Guard is never the lead agency and supports local civilian incident commanders like the Altus Fire Department.

Altus Fire Department Lt. Chase Duncan said as important the exercise is for first responders to learn how the 63rd CST can support their operations, it is just as important to know the Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen who make up the Civil Support Team.

“Having that personal relationship [is essential] because these guys are going to be around here and around the state and even if we don’t know exactly what the new scenario might be, we know the personnel and how to operate with them.”
Video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck
Oklahoma Guard conducts annual Mechanic of the Year competition
Oklahoma National Guard
Feb. 7, 2024 | 1:36
Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen gathered to test their mechanical skills at the third annual Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. (Oklahoma National Guard video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck)

CG Information:
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rocky Anderson
President of the Mechanic of the Year Board