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Guard Civil Support Team brings unique capability to exercise [repost]

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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By Eartheditor

Hello. I am a prior U.S. Navy sailor and photojournalist serving on active duty with the National Guard – combined, for more than 22 years. This blog features my more memorable stories and photos from that news pile as well as creative writing. All images and stories are by me unless otherwise credited. I hope to backlog more as well as write new stories. Thank you so much.
- Mike R. Smith

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