Military and DOD take part in bioterror exercise

Approximately 5,000 service members and Department of Defense civilian personnel recently took part in the Indiana-based Vibrant Response 13, a national-level field training exercise meant to prepare for a CBRN disaster.

Vibrant Response 13, which occurs at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center and other locations in Indiana in July and August, requires responders to engage in law enforcement, decontamination, route clearing, communications, evacuation, medical care and providing shelter to civilians, Business Insider reports.

The simulation mimics conditions of a chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear disaster attack. While Vibrant Response 13 implies terrorism, the drill also prepares responders for large scale natural disasters. Sets simulate collapsed structures, crushed vehicles and burning rubble while role actors and mannequins played the injured and the deceased.

As part of the drill, military police escorted survivors of a simulated nuclear blast at a Muscatatuck soccer stadium. They also assisted Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency members in handing out water, food and medical treatment. The drill allows the members of the exercise to grasp the psychological impact that such an event could cause.

The Department of Defense has been holding CBRN response events since the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Vibrant Response is in its 13th year and is one of the major training simulations designed to prepare both the military and the Department of Defense for disasters.