N.C. Guard leaders in Goldsboro task Soldiers for an
early morning mission. A carpenter,
several students and medical technicians leave home, put on their uniform and
reported for duty. This is a drill, a
North Carolina National Guard domestic response drill.
The NCNG’s 230th Brigade Support Battalion, based in
Goldsboro, tested their readiness with a State Active Duty exercise at armories
in Goldsboro, Kinston, Dunn and Benson on Jan. 9, 2015.
After the unit’s formation in Goldsboro for their
weekend drill, 25-year-old Army Sgt. Trinidad Escobedo, a mechanic with B Co.,
230th BSB, headquartered in Dunn, learned he will be a convoy commander for the
“Being commander was something new but I took what I
have learned from previous convoys I was on,” said Escobedo.
Brigade leaders designed the mission the night before
after receiving the order from Guard headquarters. Escobedo briefed the
convoy’s soldiers on their mission, supporting state emergency management.
“Got an order, get the Soldiers and go,” said Sgt. 1st
Class Joseph Montague, readiness noncommissioned officer with headquarters,
There is a flurry of activity. Medics inspected and packed lifesaving gear
into large trunks. Mechanics and drivers
fueled and inspected vehicles. Snow
chains, radios, tow straps and other vehicle recovery gear are checked and
rechecked. Escobedo tracked the team’s progress
and coordinated with headquarters. In less than an hour from notification, the
convoy of Humvees, an ambulance and medium tactical vehicle rolled out of the
“I am a roofer in the civilian world, the guys at work
never believe what I get to do here, it is fun,” said Escobedo.
Brigade leaders assigned several force packages,
preselected teams of Soldiers and equipment designed to support civil
authorities during a disaster. In total four
Force Packages deploy, two from Goldsboro with vehicle recovery and medical
missions, one from Dunn with a commodities distribution mission and one from
Benson with a refueling mission.
This is no paper exercise but valuable practice supporting
local first responders and North Carolina Department of Public Safety for a storm
that someday will threaten lives and property in the state like so many others
in the past.
“It is a confidence builder, it makes Soldiers
understand how our Force Packages work so when they are called out it takes the
mystery away,” said Army Master Sgt. Timothy Bowden, 230th BSB senior
maintenance noncommissioned officer.