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Press Release
October 16, 2008
Joint Communications Excercise is a success
The Oregon National Guard along with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue and Portland Fire and Rescue, participated in a joint communications exercise to test emergency equipment and foster interagency relationships in Beaverton, Ore., Oct. 16.

The exercise lasted from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency building and allowed each team to become familiar with other agency communications abilities during a natural disaster or other state of emergency.

"The main focus is for local responders to effectively communicate with state and federal levels if necessary during a major disaster or emergency," said Brandon Smith, a communications technician for Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.

Smith, a Washington National Guardsmen helped to set up the coordinated event.
In addition to the equipment brought in by Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue and Portland Fire and Rescue, the Oregon Guard provided communications equipment from the Civil Support Team and Joint Incident Site Communications Capability Team.

"We were able to establish joint communications between each agency using both satellite and other radio mediums today," said Master Sgt. Andrew Foland, Oregon Guard JISC team leader.
Establishing and maintaining the relationships between the agencies was also key for the exercises overall success.

"We can now put a face and name with the people we are working with during an actual emergency," said Foland.

This is the first time this exercise has taken place, but is part of a continued focus on interagency cooperation.