SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. – Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil support teams from Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska joined civilian first responders for a disaster response exercise Aug. 30.
Exercise Western Sugar Response, hosted by US Army North, provided a realistic threat to a former sugar factor. National Guard Civil Support Teams responded to a simulated incident requiring chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear assessment and mitigation.
“The capabilities of the 8th WMD-CST are to assist, assess, advise and identify hazards in environments unfamiliar to an incident commander,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Goodman, Operations NCO, Colorado Army National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-8th Civil Support Team.
The large-scale exercise reinforced joint-response tactics with first responders, including the FBI and Scottsbluff, fire, police and minesweeping departments and the 8th WMD-CST, 84th WMD-CST, the Wyoming National Guard and the 72nd WMD-CST, Nebraska National Guard.
Training events like this exercise strengthen collaboration between military and civilian first responders.
“One of the many reasons we are here is to have the chance to train with civilian support teams from other states and to practice supporting each other,” Lt. -Col. Ryan Brock, commander of 8th ADM-CST, Colorado Army National Guard. “If a dangerous real-world event occurs, having these formations in place allows Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska to respond together appropriately and effectively.”
US Army North worked closely with Scotts Bluff County jurisdictional responders in the design and control of the exercise to support all participants. Local and specialized monitors evaluated the efforts of local responders using seasoned subject matter experts, while ARNORTH evaluated the efforts of participating CSEs.