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California National Guard Soldiers: With the country of Afghanistan’s constant talk on low precipitation, drought has been a major concern for many of the leaders and civilians of the country, according to media outlets.

With concerns like this in mind Resolute Support – Headquarters organized a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response exercise with the assistance of Train, Advice, Assist Command-South, March 18-19.

The two-day course, which consisted of scenarios involving floods, drought, earthquakes and mass refugee crisis, was led by senior Afghan leaders and planners, who recently graduated from the first North Atlantic Treaty Organization operational planner’s course.

The purpose of the course is to provide Afghan leaders an opportunity to conduct government interagency functions and refine and improve national and regional level contingency plans for HA/DR events, according to Lt. Col. Ken Smith, strategic plans officer for RS-HQ.

Smith, who was the lead planner of the exercise, said leaders of TAAC-South, which is comprised of members of the 40th Infantry Division out of the California National Guard and 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, were specifically selected to participate in the training.

“Many of the [Soldiers] of TAAC-South are members of the California National Guard back in the states,” said Smith, an Omaha, Nebraska native. “They have experience with disaster response whether it’s part of their civilian job or as members of the Guard, so this was a great opportunity to have them share what they have learned [during those events]with our [Afghan counterparts].”

In the group of Soldiers that served as subject matter experts for the exercise, was Maj. Nathan Wall and Sgt. Maj. Aaron Cardoza, both members of the 40th Inf. Div.

“No one plans for a disaster to happen on their doorstep,” said Wall, the logistics deputy officer for TAAC-South and a native Yucaipa, California. “Reaction time is key, [our partners] don’t have to suffer with not knowing what will and won’t work because we can bring that to the discussion and help them not have to start from ground zero.”

Wall, who is a preventive medicine officer in the Army, said during humanitarian assistance and disaster response his biggest concern is planning for displaced individuals and non-battle injuries such as disease, both which he wanted to make sure to share with Afghan allies.  Read more

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California National Guard Soldiers: With the country of Afghanistan’s constant talk on low precipitation, drought has been a major concern for many of the leaders and civilians of the country, according to media outlets.