National Guard conducts training exercise at community college

A group from the national guard participated in a training exercise that incorporated real-life hurdles at a community college in Colorado on Wednesday.

The unit that took part of the exercises was one of only 17 Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package teams in the country.

The training reviewed the military's expertise in search and evacuation, decontamination and medical capabilities. Soldiers were tested with a scenario involving multiple explosive detonations at a hotel and adjoining parking structure, which resulted in simulated mass causalities.

"What's most important is that we have different areas that are unique and present different challenges," Seamus Doyle, commander of the Colorado National Guard CBRNE Response Force package, said. "What's great about the location at Community College of Aurora is that we have a building that we can tear up to replicate an actual disaster-type event occurring at that location and also the area outside of it for establishing our area of operations and a rubble pile."

The mock scenario also included fake chemical dispersal agents and the threat of the CBRNE materials being released. Live actors, faking to be injured, were placed in one of the buildings, which was already in a state of deterioration and hence looked like it had seen an explosion.

The team established a command and control decontamination, medical, search and evacuation foothold, and went on to complete the scenario.

"When I found this place, I didn't know what to expect," Joe Ziser, incident commander for the exercise, said. "But the training venues that are provided, between the simulation laboratories in the DMI as well as the 900 building are fantastic. And the flexibility to add and subtract training opportunities based on our requirements is huge."