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Letter to Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense and Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security - Muscatatuck Training Exercises

Members of the Indiana congressional delegation have extended an invitation to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Secretary of State John Kerry to visit Butlerville, Indiana this summer to observe the Vibrant Response 13-2 Northern Command exercise. This exercise at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center is the largest homeland security exercise conducted annually and brings together over 8,000 people across 22 states to test and evaluate our country's ability to respond to a nuclear detonation in an urban environment.

In the letters, the members wrote, "The Vibrant Response exercise is an excellent opportunity to experience the unique capabilities and environment the National Guard has designed to prepare the U.S. military for combat and humanitarian operations in urban environments, and also to witness our whole-of-government response to major humanitarian disasters."

The text of one letter follows:

May 7, 2013

The Honorable Chuck Hagel The Honorable Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Defense Secretary of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Defense U.S. Department of Homeland Security
1000 Defense Pentagon Washington, D.C. 20528
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Hagel and Secretary Napolitano:

We are writing to invite you to observe in the Vibrant Response 13-2 Northern Command exercise, which is the largest homeland security exercise conducted annually. Centered at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC) in Butlerville, Indiana, this exercise brings together over 8,000 people across 22 states to test and evaluate our ability to respond to a nuclear detonation in an urban environment. The exercise will run from July 21 to August 23, 2013, with incidents on July 30 and August 10.

The Muscatatuck Urban Training Center is a 960-acre facility composed of a 250-acre campus, an adjoining 180-acre reservoir, and a separate 19-acre contingency operating base. The campus has an urban infrastructure consisting of approximately 300 training structures, including a school, hospital, dormitories, light industrial structures, single-family type dwellings, a dining facility and administrative buildings totaling approximately 850,000 square feet of floor space. Additionally, the training area includes an extensive, 1,866-foot underground utility tunnel system and over 9 miles of road. Recent airspace additions permit Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) to operate above the facility. This installation provides a critical service for preparing United States Military personnel, U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Defense civilian personnel for deployments to Afghanistan and other locations through immersion and simulations experiences, as well as other training opportunities for first responders, law enforcement and homeland security personnel.

The Vibrant Response exercise is an excellent opportunity to experience the unique capabilities and environment the National Guard has designed to prepare the U.S. military for combat and humanitarian operations in urban environments, and also to witness our whole-of-government response to major humanitarian disasters.

The Department of Defense also has civilian trainings scheduled around the same time as the Vibrant Response exercise, providing an opportunity to view pre-deployment training and immersion experiences. These trainings play an important role in enhancing the security of our personnel overseas. In particular, Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (CEW) training is scheduled from July 21 to 25 and August 18 to 22.

Thank you for considering this invitation. We stand ready to facilitate your visit to Muscatatuck and the Vibrant Response exercise, and look forward to welcoming you to Indiana.

Sincerely,

Daniel R. Coats
United States Senator

Joe Donnelly
United States Senator

Luke Messer
Member of Congress

Peter Visclosky
Member of Congress

Jackie Walorski
Member of Congress

Marlin Stutzman
Member of Congress

Todd Rokita
Member of Congress

Susan Brooks
Member of Congress

André Carson
Member of Congress

Larry Bucshon
Member of Congress

Todd Young
Member of Congress


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