Local, State, Federal, and International Teams Train at State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany, NY

Credit: Utica Observer-Democrat

Credit: Utica Observer-Democrat

Bomb squads, explosive detection canine teams, and tactical teams representing groups from New York and several states, federal entities, and Canada are participating in the Raven’s Challenge emergency response training at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany this week. The Challenge is an exercise designed to enhance cooperation between public safety bomb squads and military explosive ordnance disposal technicians.

“The Raven’s Challenge ensures that first responders are equipped with the training and skills necessary to respond safely to some of the most challenging emergency situations,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud that New York is hosting this important event, because it will enhance the preparedness of our emergency personnel and make this state safer for all New Yorkers.”

“New York State is fully committed to training our first responders to contend with any emergency we may face,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul. “As New Yorkers, we can leave nothing to chance. The Raven’s Challenge offers that assurance by providing our state and local officials the tools they need through real-life exercises and preparation. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his commitment to keep us all safe and secure.”

The event is hosted by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, coordinated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Raven’s Challenge began in 2004 in the Pacific Northwest, and has since grown to reach more than 1,000 participants nationwide each year. The State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany is one of only four sites nationwide (other host sites include locations in Florida, Colorado, and Washington) to host Raven’s Challenge activities, which help to funnel tens of thousands of dollars to the local economy.
The State Preparedness Training Center, a 1,100-acre state-of-the-art facility, was chosen as a Raven’s Challenge host for its diverse training environments that give state, local, and federal agencies various venues that can be used for the entire spectrum of training. From classroom lectures and discussions to reality- and high-performance scenario-based training, the State Preparedness Training Center offers opportunities for dynamic emergency first responder training. A unique feature of the State Preparedness Training Center is its CityScape complex, a scenario-based training center that encompasses life-size and realistic locations, including a high school, motel, shopping mall, courthouse, and café, along with apartments, store fronts, and offices.

Teams are participating in one of two phases: from June 22 to 24, and June 24 to 26. Each team is able to participate in up to five scenarios at the challenge. Law enforcement and military personnel are combined to form response teams, which participate in improvised explosive device operations in various scenarios throughout the course. To complement the advanced training, experts use explosive detonations, wounded role-players, and sounds to make the scenarios more realistic.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, (ATF) the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Defense (DoD), and explosives teams from the U.S. Air Force, Air Force National Guard, Army, Army National Guard, and Marines are also set to participate.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email