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Annual Exercise Tests Interoperable Communications

Lincoln, Neb. - State and local agencies will test interoperable communications during the annual state exercise, April 23-24 at Ft. Robinson State Park at near Crawford. Dubbed TERREX16, this year’s exercise focuses on communication capabilities of state and local resources during a wildfire.

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in coordination with the Nebraska State Patrol and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, has been actively engaged in planning the exercise.

The full-scale exercise will include air-to-air, air-to ground and all types of ground communication with multiple agency involvement.

“This exercise will allow all those responsible for communication a chance to test the radios and radio channels used in wildfire scenario,” said Bryan Tuma, NEMA assistant director. “This allows the stakeholders to coordinate communication before an actual event.

NEMA plans and coordinates the annual statewide exercise. This is the state’s 14th annual TERREX which is a wide-scale emergency response exercise. Past events have simulated a terrorist attack on state infrastructure, an infectious disease outbreak among livestock, a flu-like epidemic, an active shooter attack on a college campus, a pipeline explosion and last year’s exercise which involved a crude oil transportation spill exercise .

Agencies involved include: NEMA, Nebraska National Guard, Office of the Chief Information Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Nebraska Forest Service, Nebraska State Fire Marshal, the United State Forest Service, Nebraska Department of Roads, Region 23 Emergency Management, Great Plains Dispatch Center and the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s Wildland Incident Response and Assistance Team (WIRAT).

The following volunteer fire departments are also participating:  Chadron, Crawford, Hemingford, Harrison and Alliance.

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