Emergency management drills to be conducted

If you see a convoy of military vehicles rolling down the road and flying in the sky this weekend, don't worry, it's not World War III.
Barnwell County Emergency Management will be conducting drills alongside the South Carolina National Guard and the State Guard during the next several days.
The S.C. National Guard will conduct a major training exercise, called Ardent Sentry, which is focused on Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) from May 17 through 21. Military units will practice hurricane response activities and coordination procedures. Operations will take place in Allendale, Barnwell, Jasper, Bamberg, Beaufort and Hampton counties.
Response capabilities being tested include water purification, helicopter sling-load operations, debris removal, points-of-distribution support, hazardous materials response, search and rescue and cyber-threat response. The Georgia Army National Guard will provide additional aviation assets to practice the emergency management assistance compact (EMAC) between the states. More than 100 volunteers from the South Carolina State Guard will also support the overall exercise.
Sunday morning, the BCEM will hold communication tests in the basement of the county administration building, which is the county's emergency command center. The S.C. Guard will have a communications vehicle outside the building.
Barnwell County Emergency Management Director Roger Riley said the training will be a good opportunity to "make sure we can all play in the same sandbox."
On Monday morning, the county's fire departments will participate in a decontamination drill along with the national and state guards and the American Red Cross. The drill will take place at the Barnwell County Airport. A National Guard unit will be taking water from Lake Edgar Brown for purification as part of the drill.
"It's a good thing for them and a good thing for us," Riley said about the drills.