Kansas and Nebraska National Guard to conduct bioresponse drills

Kansas and Nebraska first-responders and units from the National Guard will conduct an eight-day exercise, including response to biological and chemical agents, in Salina, Kansas, beginning July 12.

First responders from the local, state and federal levels will all take part in what has been dubbed Operation Smokey Hill at Crisis City in the Great Plains Joint Training Center, which is part of the Saline County Emergency Operations Center. The simulation is intended to test how the government will react in the face of terrorist attack.

According to KSalLink.com and the National Guard, the event begins with joint “table-top” exercise involving Kansas state and Saline County authorities. Personnel and equipment will deploy on July 13, which will see the beginning of the simulated attacks being conducted in realistic environments. Students from Salina’s Brown-Mackie College have volunteered to play the attack’s victims.

Nebraskan National Guard units from the newly formed Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package will be called in by the late afternoon of July 13.

By taking part in the operation, the CERF-P hopes fulfill part of its certification training. It will join the first responders in casualty search and extraction, decontamination and triage operations. Though based in Nebraska, the CERF-P could potentially be called to Kansas, Iowa or Missouri in the case of an emergency situation.