Members of various US Army National Guard units have participated in a biannual chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) exercise in Alaska.
As part of the training, National Guardsmen responded to all-hazards events while coordinating with civilian assets and federal agencies such as the fire department.
Several scenarios were presented during the exercise, including infiltrating a simulated chemical weapons laboratory and responding to a simulated plane crash with radioactive contamination.
According to team leader Staff Sgt. Jonathon Ramos, the Van Winkle 2022 exercise provided an opportunity for state defenders to demonstrate their competency in addressing CBRNE-related challenges.
“We can see how it works in interagency operations and see the culmination of a year’s worth of training and preparing for this type of event,” he said. “The Alaska National Guard being capable of operating with outside entities makes us a viable asset whenever large-scale events take place.”
According to 103rd Civil Support Team commander Lt. Col. Anthony Mortrud, the activity improved the interoperability of guardsmen and local responders for an actual CBRNE occurrence.
He explained that establishing good working relationships with agencies is crucial “so that when a real-world natural or man-made disaster does happen, we’re not fumbling through trying to establish how we are going to work together.”