A month after across the East End and hit the North Fork — each incident fueling the inevitable rumor mill — a representative has announced that members of the will train on and around the island on Friday.
The Westhampton Beach-based 106th Rescue Wing will conduct the search and rescue drill, which will include the employment of smoke flares off the eastern end of Plum Island.
A press release from the Air National Guard described the drill as a operational readiness exercise and will include military personnel simulating search and rescue techniques. Air National Guard aircraft involved will include the HC-130 combat search and rescue aircraft and the HH-60 Pavehawk search and rescue helicopter. The exercise will run all day.
"The preparedness organizations derive through drills and exercises is essential to how resilient they will be in times of crisis," said Kevin Reilly, integrated emergency programs manager at Plum Island, who is coordinating the event with the 106th Rescue Wing. "This is a great opportunity for Plum Island emergency management teams to observe how another agency conducts a large-scale drill."
According to the press release, the Plum Island Incident Management Team regularly drills and activates the Plum Island Emergency Operations Center to ensure readiness so the team is experienced and equipment is well-tested for an actual emergency. Many of these drills take place with other agencies and organizations such as the FBI, the Coast Guard, police and fire departments, and hospitals to facilitate interagency cooperation and communication.
Stay tuned for pictures of the drill on Patch.