2010 Articles

AUG 10 2010
Preparing for the worst - Colorado National Guard Exercise

This exercise saw its participating units training to deal with scenarios such as terrorist attacks using biological, radiological and chemical weapons along with the collapse of urban structures including trapped victims. All the scenarios involved simulated mass casualties.

The Colorado National Guard deployed their acronym laden Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosives (CBRNE) and an Enhanced Response Force Package (CERF-P) to deal with the situations. The CERF-P is an immediate response unit designed to deal with all aspects of the aforementioned threats and follows the fairly standard path of such exercises, namely medical, evacuation, decontamination, search and rescue, communications and command and control.

The ANG works alongside the civilian CO-TF1 which has similar capabilities and the exercise provides an opportunity for both agencies to work together in a simulated emergency situation.

I was able to observe one of the final sections of this impressive exercise, this involving four UH-60A Blackhawks from the Colorado Army National Guard's A Company 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation (A/2-135 GSAB) based at nearby Buckley AFB. Their role was to transport soldiers from the 220th Military Police Company and deliver them to local green-belt land next to Bear Creek High School in Lakewood.

The helicopters were on the ground for less than five minutes and the troops immediately began providing site security at the main exercise focus point.

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