National Guard and Marines work together on biological defense

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense cross trained with the Air Force and the Army National Guard on Friday at Fort Pickett, Virginia.

Branches of the military work together to be more prepared to respond to national emergencies such as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks or any other man-made or natural disaster, reports.

"Today we are out here observing the National Guard and are conducting patient decontamination," Scott Myhra, the officer in charge of the 26th, said, according to "Cross training is important because any scenario that might come up - whether it be domestic or overseas - we would typically work in a joint environment. It is extremely beneficial being able to see what each service's capabilities are."

Myhra said that the trip to Fort Pickett gave the Marines a chance to train with branches of the military that do not often train at their Camp Lejeune, N.C., home, reports.

"The (Marine Logistics Group) regularly does this type of training, but the services - as far as us being able to reach out and connect with the National Guard or the Air Force - is not common," Myhra said, according to "Basically, being out here, away from the Camp Lejeune environment, allows us to focus more on different types of training."

The exercise is a part of the pre-deployment training for the 26th, which is scheduled to deploy in 2013.