Military training exercise to test local response to sustained power outages

Wisconsin’s Department of Military Affairs is warning Columbia County residents of an increased law enforcement presence on the ground and in the air next week for a training exercise.

The training in Columbia County and at Wisconsin’s Emergency Operations center in Madison starts Nov. 14, and is in conjunction with a national-level exercise, known as Grid Ex, that takes place Nov. 15-16, officials said.

The public might see increased law enforcement presence and military personnel, including non-military unmanned aerial vehicles, in the area starting Nov. 14, according to a release. The exercise will continue until mid-morning the next day.

GridEx tests local, county and state emergency management officials, as well as National Guard and private utilities partners, on their responses to sustained power outages resulting from threats to the power grid, officials said.

November’s training will involve local, county and state law enforcement agencies and first responders, soldiers and airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard and Alliant Energy partners, according to the release.