CBRN emergency response agencies hold region conference

The U.S. Air National Guard's 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee recently hosted a conference on disaster and emergency management.

The meeting was an opportunity for emergency management and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons response teams to discuss regional plans and ways to enhance overall readiness.

U.S. National Guard leaders from the eight Great Lakes states, officers from the 9th U.S. Coast Guard District, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefish and officials from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency were present.

Canadian military representatives were also on hand to discuss cooperation and aspects of the state and provincial emergency memorandum of agreement between the United States and Canada.

"We have extensive experience dealing with routine emergencies," Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, the adjutant general of Wisconsin, said. "Our purpose today is to discuss and anticipate complex emergencies to improve our regional readiness and response capability."

The meeting was called following the National Guard's recent validation of its CBRN enterprise that includes ten regional Homeland Response Forces, 17 CBRN Emergency Response Force Packages and 54 Civil Support Teams.

Brig. Gen. Omer Lavoie, commander of the Canadian Army Land Force Central Area/Joint Task Force Central used the conference to endorse his belief in the merits of joint emergency training between the U.S. and Canadian military. The U.S. Coast Guard currently conducts joint missions along the border with its Canadian counterpart.