Virgin Islands conducts WMD training exercise

The 23rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the Virgin Islands National Guard recently conducted a training exercise in Frederiksted to be prepared to respond to hazard-related emergencies.

The training activity prepared the team to deal with any chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive inside the territory or within the southeast corridor of the United States, including Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Alabama, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.

The U.S. Army North evaluated the National Guard unit during the training simulation, which began at 4:30 a.m. and lasted throughout the day. Nineteen out of 22 team members participated in the drill in which they needed to identify, assess and give an analysis of the substance they collected.

The scenario included the delivery of a pallet of packages that had an elevated radiological reading on a ship at a pier.

"The culmination of years of training ensures that we meet the marks set forth from other CSTs across the nation,” Maj. Kenneth Alleyne, the 23rd’s unit commander, said, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News. "It is the same standard across the board and we're just as good as every state and territory."

While the team knew it would be participating in the activity, they did not know where it would be located or what the scenario would be.

“All CSTs are top-notch and the V.I.’s are no different,” Lt. Col. Bruce Alzner, of the Army North Civil Support Team Readiness Group, said, the Virgin Islands Daily News reports.