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Colorado National Guard to conduct major emergency response exercise 
Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010     

Air Force Maj. Elena O'Bryan
(720) 250-1050

Army Capt. Michael Odgers
(720) 250-1024

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (8/4/10) – The Colorado National Guard, in conjunction with the West Metro Fire District and Colorado Task Force-One (CO-TF1) will be conducting a large-scale emergency response exercise at the new West Metro Fire Training Rescue Center in  Lakewood, Colo., Aug. 5-7.

The three-day exercise will involve multiple realistic scenarios of mass casualty events in which local authorities will request assistance from the Colorado National Guard. Approximately 600 Soldiers, Airmen, first responders, evaluators, and role players will participate in this exercise involving a hypothetical terrorist attack using biological, radiological, and chemical weapons, the collapse of urban structures, and trapped victims.

The responding Colorado National Guard unit is the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives, (CBRNE)-Enhanced Response Force Package (CERF-P).

A CERF-P is a rapidly-deployable National Guard unit capable of providing immediate response capability to a Governor for a CBRNE incident. CERF-P has five primary capabilities: medical, which provides evaluation and triaging for evacuation; decontamination; search and extraction, which searches for victims and extracts them from collapsed structures; communications; and command and control. A CERF-P has 200 Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen.

The exercise will employ interagency operability and the National Guard’s ability to provide support to civilian authorities in a time of disaster, whether man-made or natural. Members of the West Metro Fire District will act as civilian authorities.

CO-TF1 has firefighters, medical personnel, dog handlers, and structural engineers along the Front Range who are trained to conduct urban search and rescue operations for local, state and national disasters. Like the CERF-P, CO-TF1 is another unit that would be called upon if an incident requires more assets than local first responders can provide.

“One of the cornerstones of the National Guard’s value is its ability to rapidly respond during domestic emergencies, providing defense support to civil authorities,” said Maj. Gen, H. Michael Edwards, the adjutant general of Colorado. “The Colorado National Guard can be found in more than 20 communities across Colorado.”

“This exercise builds and enforces our relationship with the Colorado National Guard, which helps the Task Force when responding to local, state and national disasters with the Guard. Building these relationships prior to an event is extremely important and we are very fortunate to have training opportunities like this one to make this happen,” said Rod Tyus, CO-TF1 program manager.

Saturday morning’s scenario will involve four Colorado Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, based at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., that will land near the training site and transport Soldiers to provide site security as a National Guard Reaction Force. The CERF-P will stage a few blocks away before moving to the training site.

The Lakewood Police Department will provide traffic control in the area to ensure the safety of motorists and observers.


Note to editors: Photo and interview opportunities will be from 10:00 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 6. The address of the training site is 3535 S. Kipling, Lakewood Colo., 80235. Media members are required to confirm their attendance with either Maj. O’Bryan, or Capt. Odgers by 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5. To get to the site from Kipling Parkway, turn onto West Hampden Avenue Frontage Road and take the first right into the West Metro Fire facility. Turn immediately left into the residential burn prop parking area. Media will have reserved parking. Media are required to sign in with Public Affairs in the main building in room 202, which is the task force meeting room. Media representatives will be required to present their business cards and photo identifications for credentialing. Media must be escorted throughout the incident area at all times and must sign out with Public Affairs when coverage is complete. Media will not be allowed on site Saturday.

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