Colorado National Guard doing ‘Vigilant Guard' exercises in Colorado Springs and metro Denver area

Expect to see activity at the Pepsi Center today

DENVER - The Colorado National Guard will be conducting large-scale, multi-agency emergency exercises in Colorado Springs and the Denver metro area this week.

The "Vigilant Guard" exercise started Monday morning in Colorado Springs. It focused on coordinating agencies to handle domestic emergencies and disasters.

The entire week’s exercise scenarios are based on a wildfire burning into an urban area, and also involve severe weather including tornadoes.

Participants will practice storm damage assessment, hazmat identification, abatement and decontamination, search and rescue, patient extraction, triage and other emergency-response measures, according to officials.

Monday's exercises included a mock plane crash and a search and rescue mission hosted by the U.S. Air Force Academy Fire Department, officials said.

"Patients" received simulated medical treatment from emergency responders. Then they were transported to a mock hospital at Fort Carson.

Army National Guard helicopters and Fort Carson firefighters also conducted water drop training operations at Fort Carson. The training is designed to emphasize air-ground communications.

National Guard units from Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming will be participating.

You may see uniformed military members and Guardsmen wearing chemical protective equipment during the training.

Locations for the exercise will be:

-- July 22: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center, Fort Carson Airfield and U.S. Air Force Academy Fire Department

-- July 24: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center, North Metro Fire Training Complex, West Metro Fire Training Center, North Suburban Medical Center, University of Denver, Denver International Airport, Community College of Aurora

-- July 25: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center, North Metro Fire Training Complex, Porter Adventist Hospital, Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

-- July 26: Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center