FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Air Force Maj. Elena O’Bryan
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (7/27/11) – The Colorado National Guard 8th Civil Support/Weapons of Mass Destruction Team is conducting a joint interagency, interstate training exercise this week in Denver at the Pepsi Center and Denver International Airport and in Aurora, at Buckley Air Force Base and the Community College of Aurora.
The exercise began Monday and will conclude Thursday at Denver International Airport.
Participants include California National Guard 9th CST, Kansas National Guard 73rd CST, Nebraska National Guard 72nd CST, Wyoming National Guard 84th CST, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver Fire Department, Denver Police Department, Denver International Airport, Aurora Fire Department, and Buckley Air Force Base Fire and Emergency Management Departments.
The Center for National Response is managing the exercise.
The 8th CST is Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper’s emergency weapons of mass destruction response team on alert 24/7/365 at Buckley Air Force Base.
The unit's mission is to provide a rapid response team to support civil authorities at domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives incident sites by identifying chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents and substances, assessing current and projected consequences, advising on response measures, and assisting with appropriate requests for additional support.
“This Colorado National Guard coordinated exercise will ensure our preparedness as a community at the local, state, and regional level,” said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General of Colorado.
The WMD CST is comprised of 22 full-time Colorado Army and Air National Guard personnel. The unit is divided into six sections: command, operations, communications, administration/logistics, medical/analytical, and survey.
Each WMD CST deploys within 2 hours of notification to an incident site using its organic assigned vehicles which includes a command vehicle, operations trailer, a communications platform called the Unified Command Suite (which provides a broad spectrum of secure communications capabilities), an Analytical Laboratory System vehicle (containing a full suite of analysis equipment to support the characterization of the hazard) and several general purpose vehicles.
Such units are federally resourced, trained, equipped, and sustained, but state controlled.
For Assignment Editors: The exercise at Denver International Airport will take place in a secure area. News media will not have access to this area. Exercise photos of CST operations support to civil authorities are attached courtesy Colorado National Guard.
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