SRS hosts National Guard troops for response training

National Guard teams from four states were hosted by Savannah River Site this week for terrorism response and natural disaster assistance training.

“Our mission is to advise, assist, identify and assess any situation our first responders may come across that may have ties to terrorism or an unknown or manmade situation,” said Maj. James Bowling, deputy commander of the S.C. Army National Guard’s 43rd Civil Support Team and Weapons of Mass Destruction unit out of West Columbia, S.C.

The unit, along with teams from Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina, used the U.S. Energy Department nuclear site for a series of evaluations involving two scenarios.

The first took place at a rail yard building where the scenario involved a radiological pager going off during a walk through of a Department of Transportation building that was going to be used for shelter after a hurricane. The other scenario involved live radiation sampling of an exposed vehicle.

The teams were evaluated by Global Security group, which provides training and exercise support to government agencies.

The S.C. National Guard is also participating in a major NORAD and USNORTHCOM training exercise involving a scenario of a hurricane striking the South Carolina coast, requiring more than 1,500 members of the S.C. National Guard to practice disaster response activities.

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