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“Patriot 21” exercise underway at Fort McCoy

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FORT MCCOY, Wis. (WXOW) - Soldiers from across the country are at Fort McCoy conducting training exercises to prepare them for natural disaster relief.

The exercise is known as "Patriot 21" and is a joint emergency exercise sponsored by the National Guard that focuses on the coordination of local, state, federal, and private sector organizations all working together in response to a natural or man-made emergency.

The training exercises test the soldiers' ability to support local response operations ensuring smooth and safe rescue missions. "Combat readiness at Fort McCoy also at Volk Field is their number one priority making sure we can train the way that we respond," said Lieutenant Colonel Sara Ashley Nickloes. "The big thing is we need to have our hands on the equipment and our hands on the people that we are working with in order to respond and be a synergistic force so we can save more lives on the homeland."

Approximately 1,000 civilians, volunteers, and National Guard soldiers and airmen from 26 different states are participating in this year’s training.

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Travis Judell

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