The so-called Guardian Response 22 homeland emergency exercise features role-players displaying horrific injuries, as hazmat-suited personnel attempt to handle the fall-out.
Taking place at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Indiana, U.S. Army Soldiers are evaluated based on how they apply occupational skills to a notional nuclear event at Guardian Response 22.
Sgt. Jermaine Jackson, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, explains: “What are your plans if a 5-ton nuclear device detonates in your city?
"While unlikely, the U.S. Army trains to assist communities in these worst-case scenarios and enhance mission readiness during homeland emergency response exercises such as Guardian Response 22, which is hosted by the U.S. Army Reserve's 78th Training Division.”
During the exercise, multiple units, which fall within the Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Response Force, such as the 63rd Chemical Company, the 581st Area Support Medical Company, and the 2nd Battalion, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, work to test unit readiness and responsiveness.
Staff Sgt. Francisco Vasquez, leader of 4th Squad, 2nd Platoon, 172nd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Company, participated in Guardian Response for the first time with his unit.
Vasquez and his unit have trained since February to be evaluated on Mass Casualty Decontamination, but he said he is able to use his spare time to ready his soldiers, ensuring they are quicker and more precise when it comes to setting up a decontamination tent.
Vasquez and his team are responsible for decontaminating anyone contaminated in this nuclear scenario. Their hard work made them capable of setting up a decontamination tent within thirty-six minutes which is twenty-eight minutes faster than required.
During the decontamination tent set-up evaluation Staff Sgt. Vasquez said: “The soldiers and I, once we found out our roles, needed to learn how to conduct this [exercise] at one hundred percent.
"Not cutting corners.
"We built team cohesion, we worked together real well.
"They know what's expected of me, and I know how much I have to give to them."
Staff Sgt. Vasquez added: "I’m always drained at the end of this, because I’m always giving them one hundred percent.”
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