VATF-1 Deploys for Training Exercise (Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Task Force Participates in USAID/DHS Exercise)

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 14-21
Date:  February 19, 2014

Virginia Task Force One (VATF-1) will participate in a full-scale training exercise, March 24-28, 2014, at the Guardian Centers of Georgia in Perry, Georgia. The operational exercise begins with an advisory team notification March 23, simulating an international deployment to a natural disaster event. The exercise concludes March 28, with the 75-member team returning to VATF-1 headquarters, 14725 Flint Lee Road, Chantilly.

The training exercise will include several training objectives, including outside evaluations by federal agencies. Specific training goals include: deployment of a heavy team in a field setting; exercise and evaluate the heavy US&R team concept; evaluate set-up and management of base of operations; exercise coordination of operations with a local emergency management agency; exercise coordination with other US&R teams, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teams; establish and operate a provisional reception and departure center. VATF-1 will join and coordinate operations with several other heavy US&R teams throughout the exercise in complex reality based search and rescue scenarios.

The Guardian Centers is one of America's premier disaster preparedness and validation centers. The center is 830 acres and is unlike any other training facility in the world-a modern cityscape that enables realistic, large scale disaster response exercises, with involvement of multiple organizations, from first responders, to leadership teams from local, state, and federal agencies. The costs for this exercise are funded by the federal government.

Media representatives are invited to join VATF-1/USA-1, and report on the training experience or participate as a media role player throughout the exercise.

For more information, contact Battalion Chief Chris Schaff, VATF-1 Program Manager, 571-722-7046, or go to for more information on VATF-1.

For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger,
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711.
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs,
services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.
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Fairfax, VA 22030

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