HomeNewsArticle Display

Colombian military gets firsthand look at Vigilant Guard South Carolina

U.S. Army Engineers with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC) conduct simulated ferry operations March 7, 2015 during Vigilant Guard 15. This exercise is designed to simulate a joint emergency response following the impact of a category four hurricane.  Hundreds of Georgia National Guardsmen are participating in Vigilant Guard 15 along with more than 2,000 Guardsmen from North and South Carolina during 3 to12 March. Vigilant Guard is a series of federally-funded disaster-response drills conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. William Carraway/Released)

U.S. Army Engineers with the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC) conduct simulated ferry operations March 7, 2015 during Vigilant Guard 15. This exercise is designed to simulate a joint emergency response following the impact of a category four hurricane. Hundreds of Georgia National Guardsmen are participating in Vigilant Guard 15 along with more than 2,000 Guardsmen from North and South Carolina during 3 to12 March. Vigilant Guard is a series of federally-funded disaster-response drills conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. William Carraway/Released)

Members from the Colombian Military Delegation pose for a photo with members of the 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company upon completion of the ferrying operations over the Sampit River during Vigilant Guard South Carolina, March 7, 2015, in Georgetown, S.C. Vigilant Guard is a series of federally funded disaster-response drills conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

Members from the Colombian Military Delegation pose for a photo with members of the 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company upon completion of the ferrying operations over the Sampit River during Vigilant Guard South Carolina, March 7, 2015, in Georgetown, S.C. Vigilant Guard is a series of federally funded disaster-response drills conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Army Spc. Caitlyn Causey, a medic assigned to the 122nd Engineering Company (left) and Staff Sgt. Jackie Rosier, a squad leader assigned to the 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company (right) prepare to take the Colombian military delegation to view the ferrying operation up-close via boat at the Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex, March 7, 2015, in Georgetown, S.C., as a part of the Vigilant Guard South Carolina exercise. Vigilant Guard is a series of federally funded disaster-response drills conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

U.S. Army Spc. Caitlyn Causey, a medic assigned to the 122nd Engineering Company (left) and Staff Sgt. Jackie Rosier, a squad leader assigned to the 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company (right) prepare to take the Colombian military delegation to view the ferrying operation up-close via boat at the Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex, March 7, 2015, in Georgetown, S.C., as a part of the Vigilant Guard South Carolina exercise. Vigilant Guard is a series of federally funded disaster-response drills conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Amn Megan Floyd/Released)

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. -- As Soldiers from the South Carolina Army National Guard's 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company from Abbeville, South Carolina. ferried a vehicle across the Sampit River, they were joined by curious onlookers. None more important than members of the Colombian military who are on hand this week to watch Vigilant Guard unfold.

The South Carolina National Guard's State Partnership Program, Colombia, sent a delegation to see how the National Guard interacts with civilian emergency management agencies and performs its Domestic Operations mission after a natural disaster. Vigilant Guard is running from March 3-12.

Vigilant Guard is a series of federally funded disaster-response drills conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders. This year's scenario is a Category 4 storm that strikes the South Carolina coast.

Colombian Army Lt. Col. Christian Calderon, an engineer was on site, said the bridging and ferrying operation done by the 125th MRBC was, "an excellent capability to be able to restore mobility and communication in such a short time."

The Colombian military is currently using a floating bridge that the South Carolina engineers are scheduled to receive in three years.

"It is an opportunity to use military capacity meant for war in a capacity to aid civilian authorities," Calderon said of the ferrying operations.

During their tour, the Colombians are visiting the Joint Operations Center in West Columbia, airfield operations and the Air National Guard's 245th Air Traffic Control Squadron at the Georgetown Airport before heading to Clarks Hill Training Center to watch dry span bridging, said Lt. Col. Dave King, South Carolina National Guard SPP Director.

Since its launch in 2012, when the South Carolina National Guard introduced its State Partnership Program (SPP) with the Republic of Colombia. South Carolina has focused on establishing long-term relationships where Colombia and South Carolina can promote mutual interests and build lasting capabilities.

In February, Colombian Air Force officers visited the South Carolina Air National Guard's McEntire Joint National Guard Base for three days to exchange information on maintenance and flight operations with the 169th Fighter Wing.

The relationship between the S.C. National Guard and the Colombian military has enhanced the Guard's ability to stay ready, relevant, resilient and responsible on the global stage.