• U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Seth White, right, a platoon sergeant with the 68th Engineer Company speaks with Pfc. Cody M. Vickers, center, role-playing as the foreman of a chemical company, about setting up defenses during a crisis management exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, March 25, 2013. In the scenario, a local chemical plant received intelligence of a potential terrorist attack. Vickers is a bridge crewmember, with the 74th Multi-Role Bridge Company. (Photo by Spc. Bradley J. Wancour, 13th PAD)

    Fort Hood companies prepare for crisis-management mission

    U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Seth White, right, a platoon sergeant with the 68th Engineer Company speaks with Pfc. Cody M. Vickers, center, role-playing as the foreman of a chemical company, about setting up defenses during a crisis management exercise at...

  • Pfc. Cody Vickens, bridge crewmember, 74th MRB Co., plays the foreman of a chemical plant during the crisis management exercise Mar. 25. The crisis management exercise was held by the 68th Eng. Co. as they prepare to take on their yearlong mission with the Federal Emergency Management Agency later this year. Photos by Spc. Bradley Wancour, 13th Public Affairs Detachment

    Fort Hood companies prepare for crisis-management mission

    Pfc. Cody Vickens, bridge crewmember, 74th MRB Co., plays the foreman of a chemical plant during the crisis management exercise Mar. 25. The crisis management exercise was held by the 68th Eng. Co. as they prepare to take on their yearlong mission with...

  • Soldiers with the 68th Eng. Co. provide emergency aid after a simulated chemical attack during a crisis-management training scenario March 25. The event was part of the weeklong crisis management exercise that served to prepare the company for the upcoming yearlong mission with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Photo by Spc. Bradley Wancour, 13th PAD

    Fort Hood companies prepare for crisis-management mission

    Soldiers with the 68th Eng. Co. provide emergency aid after a simulated chemical attack during a crisis-management training scenario March 25. The event was part of the weeklong crisis management exercise that served to prepare the company for the...

  • Soldiers role playing as civilians injured in a chemical attack wait in line to be decontaminated. The event was part of a week-long crisis management training that served to prepare the company for their upcoming mission with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Photo by Spc. Bradley Wancour, 13th PAD

    Fort Hood companies prepare for crisis-management mission

    Soldiers role playing as civilians injured in a chemical attack wait in line to be decontaminated. The event was part of a week-long crisis management training that served to prepare the company for their upcoming mission with the Federal Emergency...

In a little more than a week, the 68th Engineer Company and the 44th Chemical Company conducted training in preparation for their upcoming yearlong crisis management mission.

"The purpose for (the training) is to test our company's systems," said 1st Sgt. Ignacio Rangel, 68th Eng. Co.

During their mission, the company will be working along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on standby with a 48-hour alert window, ready to react to anything from a natural disaster, to a terrorist attack, to a nuclear disaster within the U.S., Rangel said.

As the week progressed, Soldiers were faced with various scenarios from assisting the local population with basic supplies to reacting to a chemical, nuclear or biological incident.

"It's reacting to a chemical, nuclear or biological incident and training how best to respond and help out FEMA in an incident," Sgt. 1st Class David Farveau, operations sergeant for the 68th Eng. Co., said. "If a state agency needed assistance from the federal government, then FEMA would step in and coordinate between different agencies and assist the state."

At that point, the company would receive guidance from FEMA and assist with operations, Farveau added.

The weeklong training event was in preparation for the culminating scenario in which all the skills the Soldiers learned just a few days prior, were now put to the test.

In the final scenario, chemical plant workers suffered a chemical blast and Soldiers of the 44th Chem. Co. assisted with decontamination efforts of personnel and equipment, and medically evacuated the dead and wounded.

"Basically, we have role players that act as if they were in a contaminated area," said Spc. Natalia Rivera Colon, chemical specialist with 44th Chem. Co., 2nd Chemical Battalion. "They go through (the decontamination) line and based on what happened to them go through either the immediate or delay lane."

Once personnel have been completely decontaminated, their wounds are treated, she added.

"I was a 73-year-old lady," Rivera Colon said about her role. "I had some head lacerations and was close to the chemical agent, which was a blister agent that's why I have blisters on my hands. I was also in a car accident."

Despite the chilly weather, Rivera Colon was not only satisfied with the training she received, but also looked forward to more training in the future.

"It's good," Rivera Colon said. "It's unfortunate the weather did not allow us to turn on the water and get wet but there's always time in the future."

Page last updated Wed April 17th, 2013 at 00:00