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    Indiana National Guardsmen join forces with Slovakia for Toxic Valley 2019

    Indiana National Guardsman samples substance during Toxic Valley 2019

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Justin Andras | Sgt. Dustin Foreman, a soldier from the 53rd Civil Support Team, Indiana Army National...... read more read more

    ZEMIANSKE KOSTOL'ANY, SLOVAKIA

    09.18.2019

    Story by Staff Sgt. Justin Andras 

    122nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    CBRN TRAINING AND TESTING CENTER ZEMIANSKE KOSTOL’ANY, Slovakia - Nine Indiana National Guardsmen from the 53rd Civil Support Team joined the Slovak Republic, state partners for the first phase of the highly anticipated Toxic Valley 2019 exercise from September 9-13, 2019. The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear field training exercise, comprised of NATO ally countries Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States, was conducted to train sampling teams and laboratory crews in the sampling and identification of chemical warfare agents, drugs and precursors.

    “Slovakia has the unique capability of offering live agent training not only for the U.S. but also other partner countries,” said Lt. Col. Pavel Truchily, Executive Director of Toxic Valley 2019.

    Toxic Valley distinguishes itself from other training scenarios due to the participant’s ability to train with live chemical warfare agents through hands-on scenarios. This directly increased the degree of caution and real-world feel as most other exercises only provide chemical simulants.

    “Every year it is challenging to come up with something new, not just recycle the same scenarios,” said Capt. Matus Glinda, Deputy Chief of the Exercise Center. “This year we added a competition between all the teams.”

    The annual exercise, first assembled in 2013 and consisting of two phases: ground sampling and laboratory analysis, has went through many changes to evolve and adapt to the needs of NATO and individual unit CBRN requirements. Above all, the exercise commander has noticed the improvement.

    This year included scenarios such as drug lab inspection, underground tunnel search, simulated retail store contamination and train car search and recovery. Additionally, in order to challenge the participants a scenario was added where the volatility of certain samples required time constraints.

    “You can see the difference in every unit because they have had the unique opportunity to see techniques from the other internationals and see what is new on the market, not only from the equipment but also the tactics used,” said Truchily, who has commanded the Toxic Valley exercise for the last three years.

    The Slovakian military and Indiana National Guard have partnered together since 1994 and participated in multiple combined annual military operations and exercises such as Slovak Shield, Toxic Valley and Toxic Lance demonstrating the relationship’s success. The success of the partnership continued throughout the exercise

    The State Partnership Program continues to evolve to meet the Combatant Commanders’ security cooperation objectives and U.S. national security goals while maintaining relationships with some of our staunchest allies in every corner of the world. With regular collaboration, Indiana is invested in its international partners and plans to increase future exchanges and engagements.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.18.2019
    Date Posted: 10.05.2019 14:12
    Story ID: 343880
    Location: ZEMIANSKE KOSTOL'ANY, SK

    Web Views: 92
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN