News: Michigan National Guard unit awarded mission as lead of nuclear response force
Story by Maj. William Humes
LANSING, Mich. - Soldiers of the 46th Military Police Command, Michigan Army National Guard, completed the validation process to command and control a force responsible for assisting civil authorities in the event of a nuclear attack on the U.S.
The process began with exercises conducted on Camp Grayling, Mich. This initial training provided the soldiers with information on conducting operations in support of civil authorities.
“This is definitely a non-standard mission, and the soldiers are quickly adapting to challenges that come with working with civilian agencies,” said Maj. Gen. Burton Francisco, commander of 46th Military Police Command.
The 46th MP Command also underwent an external mentoring while at Camp Grayling.
Members of U.S. Army North provided an assessment and played a key role in preparing the 46th for the civil support mission. The mentors were also impressed with the facilities provided by Camp Grayling.
“I was not aware that the National Guard had such a terrific training facility. My team has been nothing but impressed with everything Camp Grayling has to offer,” said Lt. Col. Allen Hahn, part of the evaluation team from U.S. Army North.
The capstone of preparing to assume the civil support mission was participation in an exercise called Vibrant Response. Vibrant Response rigorously tests the planning, logistical, operational and other states of readiness of the Michigan Army National Guard and other National Guard units that may respond in the event of a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological event within the continental United States.
“It is truly an honor and privilege for the Michigan Army National Guard to be selected to participate in Exercise Vibrant Response and be selected to lead the Department of Defense’s effort to support civil authorities,” said Francisco. “Vibrant Response is an important training exercise which will help ensure that the Michigan Army National Guard and other intergovernmental agencies are able to provide effective and timely support to civil authorities in the event of a chemical, nuclear, biological or radiological attack anywhere in the United States.”
The validation now means that the 46th MP Command is fully prepared to serve as a specialized response force called Command and Control for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Elements or C2CRE-B. This force is the only one of its kind and is comprised of National Guard forces from around the country.