Coast Guard trains for tsunami, heavy flooding during weekend drill

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River LogoASTORIA, Ore. — Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Astoria trained for the event of a tsunami and heavy flooding during a Watch Quarter Station Bill Exercise Thursday through Saturday.

The scripted scenario involved the response to severe coastal flooding following four days of gale force winds and heavy rain along the coast.

The exercise was kicked off by an automated notification system bringing together both active duty and reserve forces to train for mobilization in the wake of this large scale natural disaster.

This exercise was organized under the Incident Command System, a command structure used when responding to any significant disaster or event, evaluated the overall readiness of members to deploy worldwide for major incidents such as the Deepwater Horizon Response in the Gulf of Mexico.

Members were educated on local rally locations and what their individual roles would be in had this exercise been an actual event. Additionally, all members received tsunami evacuation maps and information on family readiness planning. Reserve members received additional presentations on legal issues surrounding mobilization and a presentation from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees.

The Pacific Area Senior Reserve Officer, Rear Admiral John Welch, also attended the exercise where he presented awards and visited with the crews.

According to Captain Tumbarello, Sector Columbia River’s Deputy Commander, “This was a total team effort that operationally tested our newly formulated Watch Quarter Station Bill, the early notification system and better prepared us as a unit to render the best response to a major emergency.”

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