No need for county residents sighting men in uniforms or hearing emergency sirens this upcoming weekend to be alarmed. The engineering group from the Texas State Guard consisting of volunteers from the Engineering and construction industry will be conducing its annual training to prepare for natural disaster scenario on Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25. The engineers, under the command of Col. Patrick Fink, will be conducting damage assessment drills for two days in association with the Atascosa County Emergency Response Team as well as county leaders to fine tune their catastrophic disaster response plan.
These drills will include exercises that simulate post disaster engineering evaluations of infrastructure consisting of roads, bridges, water, waste water and county facilities. There will be no disruption of any services in the region during the drills, and although the Engineering Group will be wearing uniforms, they will not be in military vehicles. The all-volunteer Texas State Guard is under the direct leadership of the Governor and provides emergency response services to local agencies should a natural disaster occur in Texas. The Texas State Guard is one of the three units of Texas Military Forces which includes the Army and Air National Guard.
Don Watkins, Ensign with the Texas State Guard Engineer Group, will be serving as the Public Information Officer working directly with David Prasifka, Atascosa County Emergency Management Coordinator, for the duration of the exercise.