An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Jan. 23, 2024

Oklahoma National Guard hosts inaugural Domestic Operations Symposium

By Staff Sgt. Reece Heck, Oklahoma National Guard

We’re doing this event to bring city, federal, state and tribal agencies together to figure out how we can best partner with each other in the event of an emergency or manmade disaster.Lt. Col. Brent Hill, deputy director for military support


 
 
Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Capt. John Schatz, a nuclear medical officer with the 63rd Civil Support Team, talks with members from emergency response agencies at the inaugural Domestic Operations Symposium at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Norman, Oklahoma, Jan. 23, 2024. More than 20 emergency response agencies from across the state gathered for the event to build a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities, encourage collaborative planning, mutual aid, and participation in upcoming training events. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck)
SLIDESHOW | 5 images | 240123-A-OB588-5756 Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Capt. John Schatz, a nuclear medical officer with the 63rd Civil Support Team, talks with members from emergency response agencies at the inaugural Domestic Operations Symposium at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Norman, Oklahoma, Jan. 23, 2024. More than 20 emergency response agencies from across the state gathered for the event to build a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities, encourage collaborative planning, mutual aid, and participation in upcoming training events. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck)
NORMAN, Okla. -- More than 20 emergency response agencies from across the state gathered for the Oklahoma National Guard’s inaugural Domestic Operations Symposium held at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Norman, Oklahoma, January 23-24, 2024.

The symposium aimed to build a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities, encourage collaborative planning, draft mutual aid agreements, build participation in upcoming training events, and highlight capabilities the Oklahoma National Guard can provide to state and local agencies during emergencies.
 
“We’re doing this event to bring city, federal, state and tribal agencies together to figure out how we can best partner with each other in the event of an emergency or manmade disaster," said Lt. Col. Brent Hill, deputy director for military support (domestic operations).

The two-day event included speakers from the OKNG’s Director of Military Support and the 63rd Civil Support Team, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Defense. Each representative spoke of their agency’s capabilities and what they have done to help local communities during disasters, including ways they can collaborate in the event of future disasters.
 
The symposium also featured group-oriented events such as exercise discussions, networking, and mutual aid agreement workshops designed to build connections and resources that could be crucial in the future.

“What we don’t want to do in the event of a disaster is meet somebody (from another agency) for the first time,” Hill said, emphasizing the importance of training alongside local agencies. “If we can do that here and build those relationships, then whenever it does happen, we’re better prepared for the citizens of Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma’s Office of Emergency Management is the lead agency for state level emergency response. Because of the dual nature of their mission, the Oklahoma National Guard’s part in emergency response is different from most other agencies.

While many state and municipal agencies can respond immediately, OEM must request authorization from the Governor before the National Guard can respond. It is intricacies like this that make this symposium important, so each agency has shared understanding of processes, capabilities, and personnel.

 
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
More