29th Infantry Division Annual Training culminates with Defense Support to Civil Authorities exercise


Senior leaders of the 29th ID receive a Battle Update Brief during the exercise.  (Photo by Spc. Joanna Green, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Senior leaders of the 29th ID receive a Battle Update Brief during the exercise. (Photo by Sgt. Stephanie Cassinos, 29th Infantry Division Public Affairs)

Fort A.P. Hill, Va. – Soldiers from the 29th Infantry Division finished annual training this year with a strong focus on Defense Support to Civil Authorities by staging a simulated exercise centered on security for the upcoming 57th Presidential Inauguration in January 2013.

“We haven’t been tasked with this mission, but I want to make sure the 29th Infantry Division staff is ready if called upon,” said Col. Eric Barr, 29th ID chief of staff. “Our Soldiers have spent a great deal of time preparing for this exercise and it has really paid off.”

All sections of the division staff had a role in the exercise including the Command and Special Staff. “It really makes a huge impact when all the sections’ staff officers can get together and rehearse these scenarios,”  said Barr.

The 29th ID is no stranger to this type of exercise, having participated in the 56th inauguration in 2009.  The 29th ID was the headquarters element of the Joint Task Force that mobilized units from 16 states into forward-support positions. This experience was evident during the recent exercise.

Exercise scenarios included bomb threats, protest demonstrations, snow storms, terrorist threats, power outages, and shelter security for displaced families.

“I am really proud how the staff pulled it all together,” said Lt. Col Todd Hubbard,  executive officer of the exercise.  “This final exercise is evident of the long hours spent in preparation of the event.”

The 29th ID will be working with the state headquarters during a similar exercise this summer.  “The 29th will be ready,” said Hubbard.

Annual  weapons qualifications, combat life saver qualification, driver’s training, land navigation, signal training, equal opportunity training, Army Physical Fitness Test, Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Education , were among some of the other events that took place during the unit’ s two-week training.