About 40,000 members of the National Guard participated with members of the active duty military and federal and state emergency personnel in the nation’s largest interagency exercise to date. National Level Exercise 11 included Guardsmen from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Each state responded to a simulated earthquake based around the New Madrid Seismic Zone that stretches southwest from New Madrid, Mo. Each worked off its own emergency response plan to identify strengths and weaknesses, said Army Maj. Gen. David Harris, the National Guard Bureau’s director of domestic operations and force development. The activities highlighted some items for improvement in areas like staffing and organization as well as communications and hardware, Harris said. “That’s why exercises like this are important, to show those potential shortfalls,” he said. (NGB release by TSgt. John Orrell)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.