National Guard personnel in Virgin Islands prepare for disaster response exercise

Military personnel in the Virgin Islands worked together to build a joint operations center (JOC) in St. Thomas for a training exercise, Army officials said in a release.

Working together, National Guard personnel from the 786th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB) and the 631st Engineer Company erected facilities for a national disaster response exercise called Vigilant Guard 17-03 in Nazareth in the eastern area of St. Thomas.

The training event was co-hosted by the Virgin Islands National Guard (VING) and U.S. Northern Command. Master Sgt. Sheryll Luciana, 786th CSSB operations noncommissioned officer, said airmen and soldiers who arrived with equipment and materials from St. Croix began working on the exterior to allow for flexibility in interior staging pending operational and safety needs.

"Our soldiers … have done a great job at meeting the layout specifications for the JOC,"  Luciana said in the release. "Here on St. Thomas we continue to do the ground work to ensure the exercise will be successful and the 786th (CSSB) as well as the VING will be as accommodating as possible. We … left certain parts of the interior mobile in case we need to reorient the room."

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