IA National Guard trains at prison

You know National Guard soldiers train one weekend a month and two weeks a year.

But do you know how they train?

The past two days, soldiers from the Iowa National Guard Company 224th Engineer Battalion have been training at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

KHQA was invited up to see part of that training Friday.

Team work is imperative when training, especially for civil disturbance. That's what these soldiers are training for at the Iowa State Penitentiary. This leg of the training is more of a competition of sorts. The past two days, these men and women have been getting trained by correctional officers at the prison in case they are ever needed here.

Capt. Cory Goodall says, "We're a last resort. It'll be the state penitentiary personnel. They would also bring in local and state law enforcement, and after that, they might call us."

Still this training can come in handy for any circumstance in which this Engineer's Battalion might get deployed. There are eight stations in which the soldier's train.

Capt. Goodall says, "We have one station where we're doing a sandbag drag. It's up a hill. A fairly steep hill, stationed at the bottom of the hill."

Another station simulates a personnel recovery station. Every team member has to climb a hill, carrying a soldier who is hurt. And for training purposes, they have to do it in the shortest amount of time possible. Other stations can really test the soldiers mentally and physically. This one, soldiers have to unlock a series of color coded padlocks, all while being gased with C-N gas. Then there's this station. It's an obstacle course they must run through while carrying a heavy bag. To win this station, you have to have good teamwork.

Capt. Goodall says, "It's a privilege for us to come down here and work with the Iowa State Penitentiary and the corrections officers that train us. It's been great training. Everyone I know has said great things about it."

Since this training counts as one of the weekends a month, and it's finished on Friday, these soldiers should get a much deserved free weekend to rest up.