CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — Members of Virginia Task Force 2, a Department of Homeland Security Urban Search and Rescue Team, conducted search and rescue training March 24, 2015, at the Virginia National Guard’s Camp Pendleton Collective Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. Tasks included airbag lifts, structural shoring, rope rescue, boat set up and deployment, and question and answer sessions.
VATF- 2 is a 220-person team headquartered in Virginia Beach and comprised of members from several Hampton Roads fire departments and civilian subject matter experts. It is structured into different disciplines including rescue, search, K9, hazardous material, medical and support staff.
VATF-2 conducts missions all over the country in response to hurricanes, collapsed buildings, hazardous material spills and other emergencies. Members of the unit conducted operations in Haiti following the earthquake there in 2010 and to the Northeast following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The National Urban Search and Rescue System was established under the authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1989. It is a framework for structuring local emergency service personnel into integrated disaster response task forces.
The primary mission of DHS Urban Search and Rescue, as outlined in the Federal Response Plan, is the coordination, development, and maintenance of the federal effort with resources to locate, extricate and provide immediate medical treatment to victims trapped in collapsed structures, and to conduct other life-saving operations.
“Camp Pendleton provides us a perfect opportunity to get our training completed,” Capt. Edward Landgrover, the rescue team manager. “So many members of the team are local so this is a great location for us to train and the staff has been great at helping us out with anything we need.”
The training also provided another opportunity for Camp Pendleton and Virginia Guard leaders to make connections with local first responders and demonstrate for them the capability of Camp Pendleton.
Camp Pendleton’s mission is to facilitate training across the spectrum from first responder through joint operations. In addition Camp Pendleton is a FEMA Region 3 National Guard Logistics Staging Base capable of projecting personnel and resources into the region.
“It is critical we build and sustain relationships with first responder and public safety organizations since the National Guard typically works side by side with these agencies throughout our communities,” said Lt. Col Elena Scarbrough, commander of Camp Pendleton. “We are very excited to be able to provide training and staging opportunities to our local, regional, and state partners which further enables us to strengthen our relationships with them.”
Camp Pendleton is a state-owned 328-acre installation that provides training facilities for National Guard units, as well as all other DOD active and reserve units and public safety organizations. The post features administrative buildings, conference facilities, barracks, classrooms, dining facilities, a live-fire qualification range and nine different virtual trainers as well as a chapel, fitness center, distance learning center, wooded training areas, helipad, land navigation course and military access beach and amphibious landing site.
View and download high resolution photos on Flickr: