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Guard Civil Support Team brings unique capability to exercise

This 2008 assignment in Washington state allowed the videographer and me a moment/chance to hike on Mt. Saint Helens during the off hours. I was amazed at the size of some boulders, thrown miles by the eruption. We also set up a DVIDS satellite uplink in the field during the exercise. It was also one of those times when the event coordinators/officers tried to steal us into their personal use, and not understanding that we were independent reporters, not players in their training. Sometimes it took a phone call back to Arlington to straighten those things out. This was one of those moments.

Eartheditor

By Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith | National Guard Bureau

FORT LEWIS, Wash. – In a training exercise that involved a suspected improvised explosive device releasing an unknown poisonous gas, the Washington National Guard’s 10th Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (CST) responded to the mock danger area May 2.

Their actions were part of a larger, national exercise hosted by the Department of Homeland Security called “National Level Exercise 2008” (NLE-08).

The multi-state venue joined federal, state and local responders May 1-8 in east and west coast training scenarios, which tested their ability to react to domestic emergencies.

Guardmembers here trained at the 52-building urban training center called “Leschi Town” on Fort Lewis. The comparative ghost town is an active-duty Army property on the southern end of the base’s 86,000 acres. Normally, it prepares combat Soldiers for military operations in urban terrain. Here, responders used it in NLE-08 to…

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About the Author

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Hello. I am a prior U.S. Navy sailor and photojournalist serving on active duty with the National Guard – combined, for more than 20 years. This blog features memorable reports from that news pile. I hope to backlog more stories as well as write more. Thank you. - Mike R. Smith

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