Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office
Kentucky National Guard Earthquake Exercise Attracts International Observers

Press Release Date:  Monday, March 03, 2008  
Contact Information:  1LT Andi Hahn
Asst. Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Kentucky National Guard


WHO: Fernando Molina, Ecuador Civil Defense, and Col. Jose Sanchez, Quito, Ecuador Fire Department
WHAT: International Observers for Kentucky National Guard Seismic Exercise
WHEN: March 4-6, 2008

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Two senior government officials from the South American nation of Ecuador will visit Kentucky this week to observe the earthquake response exercise being conducted by the Kentucky National Guard.

The Ecuadorians visiting Kentucky were specifically requested to participate due to their extensive professional experience dealing with such catastrophic events as frequent volcanic eruptions and massive floods.

Fernando Molina is Chief of International Programs for Ecuador's Directorate of Civil Defense which is equivalent to the United States' Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Colonel Jose Sanchez is the Director of Fire Department Operations for the city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, which has a population of 2.1 million people.

The exercise -- the largest the Kentucky Guard has conducted to-date -- is based on a simulated 7.5 Richter-scale magnitude earthquake along the New Madrid fault and will combine Army and Air National Guard resources to test and validate the Guard’s emergency response capabilities.

The Kentucky National Guard has been formally associated with the nation of Ecuador since 1996 through the US Southern Command's "State Partnership Program."

Additionally, Louisville and Quito have been officially linked as "sister cities" since 1962. 

For more information on the Earthquake Response Exercise taking place next week, please check External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain..

More than 8,400 men and women serve as Soldiers and Airmen in the Kentucky National Guard. Currently there are nearly 1,500 Kentucky Guard members are mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), as well as contingency airlift operations worldwide. To date (since Sept. 11, 2001), the Kentucky National Guard has had more than 12,000 Soldiers and Airmen mobilized for the War on Terror.


Schedule for Ecuadorian representatives is as follows:

Tuesday, March 4, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST

  • FRANKFORT, Ky. -  view operations at  State Emergency Operations Center and Kentucky National Guard Joint Operations Center (both located at Boone National Guard Center).

Wednesday, March 5, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST

  • LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Observe simulated earthquake airlift operations involving C-130 aircraft at the Louisville Air National Guard base; and from 1:30pm to 3:00pm orientation visit to City of Louisville Emergency Operations Center.

Thursday, March 6th, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  CST

  • MADISONVILLE, Ky. Airport - Observe Air and Army National Guard aircraft, vehicles and personnel involved in air-ground delivery of earthquake relief supplies.