Arizona National Guard Partners with Mesa Community College for Virtual Training

Posted on November 29, 2012 by Angela Askey

Twenty-two members of the Arizona National Guard, 91st Civil Support Team (CST) will participate in virtual training at the Mesa Community College Virtual Incident Command Center (VICC) in mid-December.

For three days, the CST members will learn about the latest technologies in incident management and Emergency Operations Centers (EOC). They will be tested on their staff functions, decision making processes and determine the methods they would take to respond during a catastrophic event. 

Using footage taken at the University of Phoenix Stadium, various crisis situations will be created at the VICC. CST team members will train on different crisis situations. During the first day of training, the team will focus on hazmat response. Each subsequent day will involve a more advanced crisis with the third day culminating in training for a catastrophic event.

Each year, the 91st CST provides support to the Fiesta Bowl and in the past has also provided assistance during Super Bowl. This training will allow the CST to interact and train as a team without disturbing day-to-day operations of the Stadium.

Lieutenant Colonel Brian J. Murphy, Commander of the 91st CST has experienced other simulation type training and is hopeful the training done at the VICC will validate staff planning and decision making processes for his team.

"As the 91st CST commander, I am looking forward to the training opportunities offered by the VICC. An exercise in a virtual environment opens up a vast menu of disaster situations and environments that are difficult or prohibitive to train for utilizing actual responders and venues," stated Lieutenant Colonel Brian Murphy.

The VICC provides true-to-life incident command and emergency operations training through state-of-the-art customizable simulations. Trainees will experience everything they would experience in the field, virtually. The National Guard previously conducted a drill at the VICC in August 2012.

Larry Thacker, Manager of the VICC stated, “We enjoy the challenge of creating a realistic and valuable training environment for the Arizona Army National Guard. I think that this kind of exercise not only improves their emergency response skills but it also challenges the creative skills of the staff and technicians of the VICC to recreate a truly unique experience.”

About Arizona National Guard

The Arizona National Guard is an organization of volunteers dedicated to protecting and defending the interests of our community, state, and our nation. Their motto is “Always Ready…Always There.”  

Arizona’s Adjutant General serves as the director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, a State agency combining Arizona's Army and Air National Guard with Joint Military Programs and Emergency Management. This combined effort enables Arizona to have effective and immediate response to emergencies on a Federal, State and Community level.

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.

Please direct media inquiries to Angela Askey at or Sally Mesarosh at  or the Office of Institutional Advancement at 480-461-7445.  IA website: