ABERDEEN, Md. -- Soldiers from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Command's Nuclear Disablement Team 2 recently attended two weeks of academic training in preparation for the nuclear forensic exercise Prominent Hunt 18-2.
Prominent Hunt is a multi-agency exercise of the National Technical Nuclear Forensics (NTNF) Ground Collection Task Force (GCTF). The focus of the exercise is to provide the NTNF GCTF with the opportunity to practice and enhance its operational readiness to respond in the event of a nuclear detonation anywhere in the United States or overseas.
The GCTF is responsible for collecting samples from the detonation site for forensic analysis, which allows the U.S. government to determine the source or perpetrator of an actual attack. The NDT's will serve as members of the ground collection team during the exercise that is scheduled to take place September 16-21 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"During the academics members from NDT 2 were trained by members of NDT 1 which served on the ground collection team for Prominent Hunt 18-1 that took place in the Los Angeles area in April," said NDT1 deputy team chief Maj. Jeremy Boudreaux of Jefferson, Louisiana.
Boudreaux added the some of the incoming Soldiers are not only new to the command but to the Army as well, some who have served just as little as 18 months on active duty.
"The academic training prepares incoming soldiers and other ground collection team members for what they can expect during the exercise in September," said Boudreaux. "The training is beneficial because it gives them a chance to practice working together as a team."
The first week of academics takes places in a classroom setting where Soldiers are briefed on the mission of the exercise, said Boudreaux. A field training exercise in week two provides participants with the opportunity to become familiar with what their specific tasks will be during the post detonation part of the exercise and a chance to get familiar with working in an interagency environment.
In addition to the Army, the Department of Justice-Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Energy- National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security as well as Colorado State Police and Colorado Springs law enforcement, fire, and emergency management will participate in Prominent Hunt 18-2. The exercise is part of a series of regularly scheduled biannual exercises of the U.S. government's NTNF GCTF that have been conducted since 2012.