In 2007 I had the privilege of co-leading a small operational component of Operation Freedoms Ring (OFR), a non-critical path Shadow Operation to Golden Phoenix. Operation Golden Phoenix 2007 was a collaborative training exercise led by Marine Aircraft Group (MAG)-46/U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, elements of the California National Guard, and civil authorities. There were two major components to OFR. The first component involved telecommunications deployment to establish communications reachback and data integration/high resolution mapping along the three major arteries to/from Southern California, namely Interstate 5 South to San Diego; Interstate 10 East from Los Angeles to Phoenix, Arizona; and Interstate 15 East from San Diego to Phoenix. From Phoenix, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Los Alamitos and San Diego this information was also transmitted to secure sites in Virginia.
The second component of OFR was to provide a venue, support and control for OFR-HoldSafe, an unprecedented event that brought together multiple partners to demonstrate and develop best-in-class techniques that civilians—on the spot in disaster environments—can implement to organize, identify, and provide for the basic needs of children. These needs include secure shelter, food, water, and ongoing and disaster-related medical needs, transportion, resolution of legal issues, and family reunification. The exercise consisted of a Workshop/Tabletop Exercise (TTX) held on July 23, 2007 at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California, and a Full-scale Exercise (FSE) held on July 24, 2007 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The goal of OFR-HoldSafe was to assess the gaps that exist in first-response systems for children in disaster distress and to assist in the development of plans, policies, procedures, protocols, strategies and/or systems for the handling and management of children to guide civilian volunteers, first responders, and other child-focused response organizations through disasters of all kinds.
New York Times article by Steven Ganyard mentioning our work at OGP