Netherlands unveils new attack-simulation training facility

Officials on Friday unveil a new chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) training facility in Vught, the Netherlands. | Contributed photo

A new chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) training facility opened Friday in Vught, the Netherlands, where emergency-response personnel will train.

The training facility features mock-up sites, including restaurants, an airplane cabin, a hotel, a post office, a subway station and a barn. The facility is equipped to simulate attacks of the CBRN variety. The two-hectare facility is state-of-the-art and aims to provide response personnel with the most realistic training available; possible simulations will include a derailed train with poison gas, a nuclear attack on a shopping center or a chemical incident on a plane in transit. The facility is able to re-create the tell-tale signs of an attack of this nature, including the colors, smokes, odors and hazes of agents.

Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and Ivo Opstelten, minister of security and justice, led the opening ceremony. The CBRN unit had a recent incident with mustard gas in Ede and a fire at a chemical plant in Moerdijk.

“The very fact that we have little disasters forces us to train thoroughly.” Opstelten said. “It is necessary to prepare ourselves properly for incidents, attacks or disasters. Such situations call for craftsmanship, for routine, for people who know how to act when there is much at stake.”