• MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " Two Soldiers from the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, discuss their sampling results with a U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) observer controller July 31 during a simulated Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear incident scenario. The scenario was part of the Vibrant Response 13-2 training exercise at Muscatatuck Unit Training Center.  VR 13-2 is a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North (Fifth Army). The observer controller asked questions of the Soldiers concerning testing results and what additional tests or samples if any, would be necessary.

    Discuss results

    MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " Two Soldiers from the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, discuss their sampling results with a U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) observer controller July 31 during a simulated...

  • MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " Two Soldiers from the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, await results from a chemical detection device with a U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) observer controller July 31 during a simulated Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear incident scenario held as part of the Vibrant Response 13-2 training exercise at Muscatatuck Unit Training Center. VR 13-2 is a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North (Fifth Army). The CST team is responsible for detecting and identifying chemical, biological and radiological agents in the area prior to first responders entering the incident site.

    Await results

    MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " Two Soldiers from the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, await results from a chemical detection device with a U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) observer controller July 31...

  • MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " A member of the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, uses a mobile chemical detection laboratory to test samples taken from an incident site while a fellow Soldier looks on during a simulated Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear incident scenario July 31  during the Vibrant Response 13-2 training exercise at Muscatatuck Unit Training Center. VR 13-2 is a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North (Fifth Army). The CST team is responsible for detecting and identifying chemical, biological and radiological agents in the area prior to first responders entering the incident site.

    Mobile lab

    MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " A member of the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, uses a mobile chemical detection laboratory to test samples taken from an incident site while a fellow Soldier looks on...

  • MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " A Soldier passes test tubes containing chemical agent samples to a fellow Soldier, both members of the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, while two U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) observer controllers watch July 31 during a simulated Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear incident scenario during the Vibrant Response 13-2 training exercise at Muscatatuck Unit Training Center. VR 13-2 is a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North (Fifth Army). The CST team is responsible for detecting and identifying chemical, biological and radiological agents in the area prior to first responders entering the incident site.

    Test tubes

    MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " A Soldier passes test tubes containing chemical agent samples to a fellow Soldier, both members of the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, while two U.S. Army North (Fifth...

  • MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " Two Soldiers from the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, collect samples to detect Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear incident scenario during the Vibrant Response 13-2 training exercise July 31 at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Muscatatuck, Ind.  VR 13-2 is a major incident exercise conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North (Fifth Army). The CST team is responsible for detecting and identifying chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents in the area prior to first responders entering the incident site.

    Sample collection

    MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " Two Soldiers from the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Ohio National Guard, collect samples to detect Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear incident scenario during the Vibrant Response 13-2...

MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. -- Members of the 52nd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team from Columbus, Ohio, and the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team from Fort Richardson, Alaska, responded to a simulated chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear incident July 30-31 at the Vibrant Response 13-2 exercise at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.
VR13-2, conducted by U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North (Fifth Army), is an annual event and is the country's largest CBRN exercise; the training exercise is used to evaluate a unit's operational and tactical ability to support civil authorities during domestic incidents.
The Ohio and Alaska Civil Support Teams are two of 57 specialized Army and Air National Guard teams around the nation. The units provide support to civil authorities in the event of a CBRN incident by deploying rapidly to assist local first responders in determining the precise nature of an incident as well as providing expert medical and technical advice to the local commander.
"We respond to domestic incidences such as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear because we have the personnel, equipment and expertise to conduct radiological surveys. These surveys are done to determine where some radiological hotspots are, or are not, in order for civilian first responders to drop food, water and medical supplies to those who need it," said Lt. Col Jeffrey Suver, commander of the 52nd WMD-CST,
The CST team plays an important role in providing valuable feedback to the incident commander and the civilian first responders, who will be taking care of the community surrounding the incident site.
"We are the first responders," said Sgt. Dustin Laycock, member of the 52nd WMD-CST. "We tell the incident commander or whoever is in charge what chemical agents and at what levels are present at the incident site, chemical protective measures that will need to be enforced, identify standoff distances and minimum safe areas, and identify those hazards and the necessary steps to mitigate those hazards."
The chemical suits used by the CST teams are vital in that they provide the needed protection for the team members to perform their missions.
"The suits are used to identify unknowns or when we suspect a high-vapor concentration of organic compounds. Although the suits serve as the best layer of protection that we have, the penetration times vary with the different chemicals," said Laycock. "They pretty much serve as a little protective bubble that we are fully encapsulated. They allow us to be able to use the self-contained breathing apparatus located on the inside of the suit in the event of a chemical breakthrough."
The equipment, along with the continuous training -- such as participating in joint training environments -- makes the CST teams and their members experts at conducting CBRN operations.
"I like to get out and participate in national level exercises like these," said Suver, "because they provide an opportunity for us to work with various agencies on the national level that are outside of the state of Ohio in order to get a big picture approach in the event that we have to respond to a national level incident."

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Page last updated Fri August 2nd, 2013 at 00:00