148th Fighter Wing Force Support Squadron participates in PATRIOT 2012

Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Adjutant General of Wisconsin and Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, Director of the Air National Guard talk with Staff Sgt. Emeri Rohweder while touring different aspects of PATRIOT 2012 at Volk Field, Wis. July 19, 2012.  PATRIOT 2012 is an annual National Guard emergency response training exercise comprised of more than 1,100 military and civilian personnel.  (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka)

Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Adjutant General of Wisconsin and Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, Director of the Air National Guard talk with Staff Sgt. Emeri Rohweder while touring different aspects of PATRIOT 2012 at Volk Field, Wis. July 19, 2012. PATRIOT 2012 is an annual National Guard emergency response training exercise comprised of more than 1,100 military and civilian personnel. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka)

Senior Airman Ashley Frederick, 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard helps put up a tent July 19, 2012 in support of PATRIOT 2012.  PATRIOT 2012 is an annual National Guard emergency reponse exercise and is comprised of more than 1,100 military and civilian personnel.  (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Senior Airman Ashley Frederick, 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard helps put up a tent July 19, 2012 in support of PATRIOT 2012. PATRIOT 2012 is an annual National Guard emergency reponse exercise and is comprised of more than 1,100 military and civilian personnel. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Senior Airman Kayla Goorhouse, 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard helps run the Tatical Operation Center July 19, 2012 in support of PATRIOT 2012.  PATRIOT 2012 is an annual National Guard emergency reponse exercise and is comprised of more than 1,100 military and civilian personnel.  (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

Senior Airman Kayla Goorhouse, 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard helps run the Tatical Operation Center July 19, 2012 in support of PATRIOT 2012. PATRIOT 2012 is an annual National Guard emergency reponse exercise and is comprised of more than 1,100 military and civilian personnel. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph J. Kapustka/Released)

DULUTH, Minn. -- Members of the 148th Fighter Wing Force Support Squadron, Staff Sgt. Emeri Rohweder, Senior Airman Kayla Goorhouse and Senior Airman Ashley Frederick, took part in the fourth annual Patriot 2012 at Volk Field, Wis. 15-20 July, 2012. The Patriot Exercise is a large scale emergency response exercise that brought local, state and federal agencies together with military units from many states. The primary purpose of the exercise is to assess the National Guard's ability to assist state and local authorities in response to multiple emergencies.

Goorhouse and Frederick participated in a Fatality Search and Recovery Team (FSRT) which consists of a two person lead team and a nine person tactical collection team. The FSRT provides the Homeland Response Force (HRF) and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Enhanced conventional weapons (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP) the fatality recovery capability to conduct searches in structurally stabilized areas, provide documentation, temporary staging and removal, and transport of fatalities from the incident site to an on-site collection point for processing. The CERFP has four operational elements; the search and extraction element, decontamination element, medical element and lastly the fatality search and recovery element.

Rohweder was at the Patriot exercise to evaluate fatality search and recovery teams. While there, she evaluated both teams and/or individuals from Minnesota, Arizona, Kentucky and Arizona.

"The training received at exercises such as this is extremely beneficial," said Rohweder. "The knowledge you gain by interacting with multiple civilian and military agencies is phenomenal. We leave every exercise with more skills, more knowledge, new networking contacts and new ideas."

"In a real world environment, we will more than likely have to work with individuals not necessarily from our unit. This type of exercise will help start the team building process in all fatality search and recovery teams," said Frederick. "Having an atmosphere of positive teamwork is one of the best things to have in this type of work environment and that is exactly what each team member brought to this exercise."

"We have a huge respect for each other and the other agencies we work side by side with," said Rohweder. "To recover someone's loved one, to give a little comfort and show a little grace in the eyes of tragedy and disaster makes every moment of what we do worth every strenuous second."