Alabama National Guard participates in bioterror exercise

The Alabama National Guard will take part in the largest domestic convoy in its history on August 5 and August 6 as part of a bioterrorism field training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

The convey will include approximately 500 vehicles and 1,500 members of the state's National Guard in transit through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. The 31st Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Brigade out of Tuscaloosa, Ala., will coordinate the convoy on the way to Vibrant Response 13, a joint exercise involving over 9,000 members of the military, reports.

"We are in close contact with highway officials in all four states," Capt. Charles B. Priest, a 31st CBRN Brigade logistics officer, said, according to "Our goal is to arrive safe with minimal disruption."

Vibrant Response will train the soldiers, marines, airmen and civilians with the Department of Defense to deploy, employ and sustain specialized military response forces to save lives and relieve suffering after a simulated CBRN event.

The Alabama National Guard will be the first Command and Control CBRN Response Element with the National Guard as part of a two year mission starting in the fall. The C2CRE was a role previously filled by active duty military.

"We are excited about our new mission," Maj. Gen. Perry G. Smith, the Alabama National Guard's top officer, said, according to "I have every confidence that our team will perform exceptionally well during the exercise. The fact that we were assigned this mission is a testament to DOD's faith in the National Guard, particularly in the Alabama National Guard as a leader among guard organizations throughout the nation."