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Vigilant Guard 2023: A Test of Preparedness

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The Wyoming National Guard stood poised to demonstrate their unwavering strength and readiness to the world through its first-ever Vigilant Guard exercise from June 12-15. This comprehensive emergency response exercise enhanced public safety and community preparedness and showcased our state’s unwavering spirit.

As military personnel, first responders, and critical stakeholders converged across the state, a persistent message echoed through the simulated disaster scenario. It was a testament to our unwavering commitment to safeguarding our communities and ensuring our readiness for adversity.

“The purpose of VG is to provide an opportunity for local, state, and federal assets to come together and work together to build responsiveness, partnerships, and preparedness through the State of Wyoming to any natural or manmade disaster that might occur,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Seelye, Battle Joint Director of Military Support, Wyoming National Guard.

In Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Laramie, Natrona, Park, Platte, Sheridan, and Weston counties, the exercise unfolded with expected chaos, captivating the attention of residents and onlookers, and the participants fought to bring order. The increased presence of emergency response personnel, military vehicles, and aircraft bore witness to the extraordinary capabilities and resources. 

While Vigilant Guard 2023 primarily focused on testing response capabilities, agency coordination, and communication systems, it also served as a grand stage to showcase the Wyoming National Guard and the state’s indomitable spirit. We stood united, a symbol of strength and preparedness for the world to witness.

Throughout the exercise, the participants took great care to minimize disruptions and ensure community safety. Temporary road closures and traffic diversions near exercise locations were necessary, and the public diligently followed the guidance of law enforcement and emergency personnel.

“Over the last year, Wyoming has had a handful of emergencies, some localized flooding, and a severe winter storm outbreak. Many of the lessons we are learning here and the relationships we build will make the next set of those challenges go much more smoothly,” said Spencer Pollock, Preparedness Section Chief, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security. 

“We look forward to applying the lessons learned from VG and applying them to future disasters.”

Vigilant Guard 2023 was more than just an exercise—it was a powerful declaration of our readiness and resilience. It sent a resounding message to the world, painting a vivid picture of our state’s unwavering spirit and our determination to overcome any challenge that may come our way. The Wyoming National Guard extends its sincere appreciation for the support and understanding of the public. Together, we forge a shield of protection, empowering our state with unwavering preparedness.