• CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. " In the operations center for Task Force Aviation, leaders track ongoing search and rescue missions and plan a wide-range of upcoming missions Aug. 18 during Vibrant Response 12, an annual U.S. Northern Command field training exercise conducted by U.S. Army North.

    Aviation.

    CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. " In the operations center for Task Force Aviation, leaders track ongoing search and rescue missions and plan a wide-range of upcoming missions Aug. 18 during Vibrant Response 12, an annual U.S. Northern Command field training...

  • MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " U.S. Marine Chemical, Biological Incident Response Force teammates coordinate during a mass casualty and decontamination training event here Aug. 18 during Vibrant Response 12, an annual U.S. Northern Command field training exercise conducted by U.S. Army North.

    CBIRF.

    MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " U.S. Marine Chemical, Biological Incident Response Force teammates coordinate during a mass casualty and decontamination training event here Aug. 18 during Vibrant Response 12, an annual U.S. Northern Command...

  • CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. "  The military's Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force assumes the mission from state response forces here Aug. 18 as a rehearsal of the DoD's tiered response capabilities in Vibrant Response 12, an annual U.S. Northern Command field training exercise conducted by U.S. Army North. Within hours of arriving, the DCRF was performing search and extraction missions at Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex.

    DCRF.

    CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. " The military's Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force assumes the mission from state response forces here Aug. 18 as a rehearsal of the DoD's tiered response capabilities in Vibrant Response 12, an...

  • CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. " Soldiers from the 519th Military Police Battalion, Fort Polk, La., work together to set up a general purpose medium tent here Aug. 18, as part of Vibrant Response 12. The annual U.S. Northern Command field training exercise is conducted by U.S. Army North and is the command's largest disaster response exercise to date. This multi-agency, multi-component exercise is intended to prepare federal military forces for their role in responding to a catastrophic chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident in the homeland.

    Setup.

    CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. " Soldiers from the 519th Military Police Battalion, Fort Polk, La., work together to set up a general purpose medium tent here Aug. 18, as part of Vibrant Response 12. The annual U.S. Northern Command field training exercise is...

  • MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " A plume of smoke rises from the refinery after a controlled explosion kicked off a mass casualty and decontamination training event late Aug. 18 during Vibrant Response 12, an annual U.S. Northern Command field training exercise conducted by U.S. Army North. The refinery explosion tested the responsiveness of the military's Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force on its first day of exercises. Vibrant Response 12 tests disaster responders after a simulated 10-kiloton nuclear detonation, and is a phased employment of military forces upon the request of civilian authorities to save lives, relieve human suffering and mitigate great property damage following a catastrophic CBRN incident.

    Refinery explosion.

    MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. " A plume of smoke rises from the refinery after a controlled explosion kicked off a mass casualty and decontamination training event late Aug. 18 during Vibrant Response 12, an annual U.S. Northern Command field...

CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. " The military's Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force assumed the exercise mission from state response forces here Aug. 18 while rehearsing the nation's tiered response capabilities during Vibrant Response 12, a U.S. Northern Command field training exercise conducted by U.S. Army North.

Within hours of arriving, the DCRF was performing search and extraction missions at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex.
The service members worked late into the night after small explosions at the training refinery simulated large-scale explosions. Responders performed mass casualty and decontamination for the simulated "victims" of the explosion.

"It was key that Title 10 (federal) forces arrive quickly and immediately begin assisting civil authorities in responding to this incident," said Paul Condon, Exercise Control Forward deputy director, U.S. Army North.

In the United States, local and state authorities have numerous forces and capabilities to draw upon to conduct lifesaving and life-sustaining operations following a disaster. But when the scope of the disaster requires additional assistance, the U.S. military has additional response capabilities to support civil authorities and to perform a variety of specialized missions as part of an overall federal effort.

The DCRF is a 5,200-person federal capability designed to assist civilian first responders to save lives, relieve human suffering and facilitate response operations following catastrophic CBRN events. The DCRF deploys when directed as DoD's initial federal CBRN response force to provide search and rescue, decontamination, medical, aviation, communications and logistical support.
During Vibrant Response 12, local, state and federal disaster responders are rehearsing an escalating disaster after a simulated 10-kiloton nuclear detonation Aug. 16 in downtown Cincinnati. During the first 48 hours, local, state and federal elements worked quickly to save lives and mitigate suffering while additional federal responders from around the U.S. mobilized and moved to the disaster site.

"We have 18 aircraft here: eight CH-47 Chinooks, six UH-60s for medical missions and four UH-60s for general purpose missions," said Col. Randall Schwallie, Task Force Aviation commander, part of the DCRF. "We brought them from Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Clearwater, Fla.; Fort Carson, Colo.; and Ft. Eustis, Va. The move went well because we have aviation support facilities throughout the U.S."

Schwallie said his personnel are trained for military air missions, but the exercise is good for training his personnel to work with the large variety of military and civilian disaster response units and personnel.

"This is our chance to integrate with other task forces and rehearse support to civil authorities such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security," he said. Schwallie and the other aviation personnel are part of the 11th Aviation Command, Fort Knox, Ky.

Aviation assets are critical in a disaster, especially when roads are blocked or people need to be evacuated or receive immediate medical care. Aviation units also support logistics missions, getting food, water, medical supplies and other supplies to those that need it.

The most challenging part of disaster operations is maintaining enough fuel during air operations, Schwallie said.

"Basically, with all the birds in the air, we burn a gallon of fuel a second," said Schwallie.
Avaition personnel were excited about the mission. "This is why I joined the Army " to help my family and friends," said Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Fisher, CBRN staff noncommissioned officer, Task Force Aviation. The native of Louisville, Ky., said he appreciated the opportunity to serve in a unique homeland mission.

This is the initial confirmation exercise for the DCRF, which officially assumes its mission Oct. 1. The DCRF's structured to provide more lifesaving capability to an incident faster than the previous force.

Page last updated Tue August 23rd, 2011 at 11:00