British will again tap disaster response expertise of National Guard

Col. Andrew J. McInerney, assistant to the Secretary for Defense, British Ministry of Defense, will visit historic Jefferson Barracks next month to be briefed on National Guard response to natural and made-made disasters. (U.S. State Dept.  photo)

Col. Andrew J. McInerney, assistant to the Secretary for Defense, British Ministry of Defense, will visit historic Jefferson Barracks next month to be briefed on National Guard response to natural and made-made disasters. (U.S. State Dept. photo)

Bill Phelan
ngmo.pao@us.army.mil

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Historic Jefferson Barracks in south St. Louis County is becoming very popular with British government officials wanting to learn more about the National Guard response to natural and made-man disasters.

For the third time in less than 14 months a British defense official will receive a disaster response briefing from officers of the Missouri National Guard's 70th Troop Command, headquartered at the Joint Armed Forces Reserve Center.

Rushanari Ali, a member of British Parliament, received a similar briefing in April of this year, while Mark Phillips, a defense policy advisor to the House of Lords, was briefed by Troop Command officers in June of 2011.

On Oct. 3, Troop Command officers will brief Col. Andrew J. McInerney, military assistant to the Secretary of State for Defense, Ministry of Defense. McInerney is a former British Special Forces and Royal Marines Commando officer. He is a graduate of Kings College, with a degree in defense studies and has a master's degree in business from Cranfield University.

"Mr. Phillips' visit went so well that St. Louis is now a highly requested city for British government visitors," said Rudo Grey, of the St. Louis-based World Affairs Council, who is helping coordinate Col. McInerney's local visit through the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. "This is a testament to the contribution of the (National Guard) and it means every time there is a British official in the U.S. they will be hearing from us."

The Missouri National Guard is uniquely qualified in disaster response. Last year, in response to tornadoes, floods and ice storms, the Missouri National Guard was mobilized for State Emergency Duty for a record 240 consecutive days.

Great Britain has no National Guard so disaster response falls almost totally on the shoulders of civil authorities. As such, British officials have been tapping the expertise of the National Guard on disaster response, counter-terrorism and other national security issues.

During his two-week visit to the U.S., Col. McInerney will also visit military training sites in California, Idaho, Montana, New York, Arizona and Washington.

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