Command and Ops Center nucleus of National Guard emergency effo - KOTA Territory News

Command and Ops Center nucleus of National Guard emergency efforts

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When emergencies occur here in South Dakota, the governor calls on the National Guard.  And their efforts are coordinated at the Command and Operations Center at Camp Rapid in Rapid City.

This is where leaders oversee units supporting operations around the state. The room is reminiscent of the situation room the various displays give commanders a comprehensive look at what's going on. Units are color coded, green, amber and red, which determining what their deployment statue is.

Lieutenant Colonel Orson Ward said one of the advantages of the ops center is that they're always ready when the governor calls.

"One of the things that this operations center is does is to keep situational awareness. Whether it’s weather or other threats within the state, we're constantly watching what's out there. And if something comes up, like a storm, like a flood, we already start communicating to our units to be prepared to move,” Ward said.

Ward said more than 300 personnel are supporting operations in Wessington Springs and Big Sioux River.

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