Story and photos by Sgt. David Bolton, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office
FRANKFORT, Ky.– An unassuming vehicle pulls up to the front gate of the Boone National Guard Center August 15, 2012 in Frankfort, Ky. It’s a typical Wednesday afternoon. The driver is motioned forward by Ginger Starrett, a security specialist assigned to BNGC. White-knuckled with a stone-cold face, the driver pulls up to the entry control point. Noticing his stern demeanor, Starrett begins to inspect the vehicle with a discerning eye. An instant later, the driver has pulled out a homemade detonator and attempts to set off a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED).What happened next was part of a carefully designed and choreographed series of events that was meant to diminish any further threat to service members and civilians working at BNGC.
“We have a plan for Boone Center”, said Eldern Riley, State Anti-terrorism Program Manager. “Protect the assets and resources of the Kentucky National Guard including personnel and facilities.”
Col. Charlie Harris, State Security Manager, said that in addition to exercising the plan to keep the people of BNGC safe, the coordination with other agencies like the Kentucky State Police Bomb Squad and the Frankfort Police Department was important.
Despite the intensity of this event, it is not the first rigorous training exercise that has taken place at BNGC. Other scenarios have included an active shooter situation in which the security forces had to respond to a shooter on post.
“Our security force has done a lot,” said Larry McCord, Security Operations Chief at BNGC. “J2 (which deals with physical, personnel, and intelligence security) writes the plans and someone must implement it, we can do that.”
The hard work of the BNGC officers has not gone unnoticed. Over the past few years the BNGC has been presented the Army Security Award as well as the Department of the Army’s Best Antiterrorism Program Unit for 2011.The process of responding and adjusting to these kinds of threats is continually revamped based on prior exercises and training simulations.
“We learned some things and we’ll use what we learned to update future plans,” said Harris.
McCord noted that the exercise was a huge success saying, “It’s a big feather in our cap for the Kentucky State Police to give us credit for our part in the exercise.
The true benefit of conducting this kind of life-like training is the payoff that it brings.
Riley said that the training exercises helped the younger officers to prepare for real world events.
“There’s a lot more than most people think,” said McCord. “Someday, someone is going to make a move and I hope that we’re there to catch it. It’s not a matter of if, but when.”
The Kentucky Guard Command Staff directed August as Antiterrorism Awareness Month to bring a heightened sense to the potential threats against personnel and facilities throughout Kentucky.
Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office
FRANKFORT, Ky. – “Train as you fight” is a common saying in the U.S. Army referring to maintaining readiness both on and off the battlefield. Security officers at Boone National Guard Center put that philosophy to the test during their annual anti-terrorism training recently in Frankfort, Ky.
“We bring all our officers in to have collective training and go over basic necessities up close,” said Larry McCord, BNGC security operations chief. “This training allows us to be on the same page doing the same thing.”
The two day training consisted of day and nighttime small arms live fire, escalation of force protection, interactive combat simulator training, using less than lethal weapons and entry control point operations. It concluded with a 50 question comprehensive exam.
“If we are planning on carrying certain weapons and devices, we need to know how to use them,” said Marcus Evans, BNGC security shift supervisor. “This training gives us the opportunity to be proficient.”
Security team got assistants with local law enforcements, state and BNGC command staff to aid in their standard of operations procedures. Kentucky Guardsmen also provided assistance with gate security to free up time for the two day training.
“I like to thank Col. (retired) Mike Jones, Kentucky Department of Military Affairs executive director, Col. Charles Harris, Intel and Security chief, and volunteered Guardsmen for their help in our security training,” says McCord.