National Guard unit saves Anytown, U.S.A. from simulated attack

The Seventh Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team at Fort Leonard Wood has completed two days of chemical attack training, saving Anytown, U.S.A. in the process.

The Missouri National Guard team was called to respond to a simulated incident at Abrams Theater. The theater was the site of a simulated chemical attack, resulting in six youths with signs and symptoms of chemical exposure going to the hospital that night. The following day, more than 30 more people came down with simulated illnesses.

The National Guard team then searched for the chemicals, facing down a large, unknown venue in the form of the theater.

The training was called realistic by 1st Lt. Richard Sambolin, who coordinated the theater exercised and said that it is not out of the question that such a venue could be the site of an attack as it would have a large number of people in an enclosed location.

For that reason, Sambolin said, it was important for the National Guard team to receive training in reacting to that form of attack.

Sambolin said he was pleased with the team's performance under the situation and noted that the training stretched the unit's members beyond their normal roles, an important and valuable lesson for them to learn in the event of a real attack.