Arkansas Air National Guard trains with local and state partners

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jessica Condit
  • 189th Airlift Wing

   “We are here to support the Arkansas State Police against civil disturbance,” said Lt. Col. Todd Stuff, Arkansas National Guard National Guard Reaction Force commander. “The state police are always in charge. We will support and train with them as much as we can to make sure we all sync together in the event of an emergency.”

     During a civil disturbance, the first group of Airmen and Soldiers to get called out belongs to the quick reaction force. The request is made from the governor to the adjutant general of the state. After receiving the request, the adjutant general will activate the QRF. The group is then required to report to the location of civil disturbance within eight hours of activation. If more Guard personnel are requested, the National Guard Reaction Force will then be dispatched and is required to report within 72 hours of the request.

     Nearly 300 Airmen and Soldiers participated in several different scenarios to include weapons training, munitions demonstrations and other objectives that require familiarity in the event of a civil disturbance. The groups practiced different tactics and maneuvers for two days before participating in the exercise, leading to a nearly seamless outcome.

     “The goal of the training is to successfully combine and integrate our forces,” said Master. Sgt. Matthew Pfleger, a security forces member of the 189th Security Forces flight. “This is our second year in a row to successfully complete this combined training. We have to be ready to provide support when local and state law enforcement have exhausted all of their resources.” 

     The Arkansas National Guard’s Civil Disturbance Contingency Plan outlines key responsibilities for preparing for, responding to and recovering from an incident or event that results in the degradation of public law and order, placing public safety at risk and exceeding civilian law enforcement capacity.

     “This is the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities to the state police,” Stuff said. “Within the last year, they have integrated with us in our training to understand our capabilities and what we can support them with.”