New Mexico State Defense Force (NMSDF) Personnel Serve as Controllers and Evaluators in the Santa Fe Municipal Airport Full-Scale Exercise
SANA FE, N.M. – Members of the New Mexico State Defense Force (NMSDF) participated in the Santa Fe Municipal Airport Full-Scale Exercise held Saturday, April 8. The exercise provided an opportunity for participating agencies to test their individual and collective capabilities in an operational environment. During the full-scale exercise, members of the NMSDF filled both operational and evaluator roles.
The NMSDF is an internal security and emergency services reserve force that can be called upon by the Governor of New Mexico to serve in support of the New Mexico National Guard; additionally, it serves as a spoke in the wheel of local, state, and national preparedness.
SSG Otis Chappell, who served as the exercise staging controller, managed the flow of resources into the incident. In reflecting on his experiences, Chappell found the training valuable from the perspective that it highlighted the importance of interoperability, unified command, and the value of individuals working collectively in pursuit of a common mission. “The complexity of large scale incidents serves as a reminder of the need for continual training,” Chappell said.
Officer Candidate Mark Rowley, who served in the capacity as law enforcement controller, provides oversight for meeting of the commander’s directive that all NMSDF personnel will be qualified in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) by 30 June 2017
Rowley said, “The New Mexico State Defense Force has placed a priority on members becoming qualified as Military Emergency Management Specialists through the State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) to ensure that members can respond to disasters and other emergencies and effectively work within a comprehensive emergency management operation. This is being accomplished through extensive training in the Incident Command System (ICS), the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and exercises and drills such as the full-scale exercise conducted today at the Santa Fe Municipal Airport.”
In 2016 the 26 members of the NMSDF donated over 4500 hours of service to the State of New Mexico. Although the educational spectrum runs from high school diploma through doctorial level—the average is four years of college education. Prior military service is not a requirement to join the NMSDF; however, roughly sixty-percent of the members have prior military service.
The Assistant Adjutant General of the NMSDF is Brig. Gen. David Torres; his requirements of those that serve include the commitment of each member to “uphold the standards of honor, integrity, and compassion.”