Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Civil Support Teams Conduct Field Training Exercise For the Kentucky Derby

    Civil Support Teams Conduct Field Training Exercise For the Kentucky Derby

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Brianna Passi | Sgt. Brent LaFontaine (left), Team Chief, 81st Civil Support Team (CST), North Dakota...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Brianna Passi 

    114th Public Affairs Detachment

    LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - Members of the 12th Civil Support Team (CST), New Hampshire Army National Guard (NHARNG), participated in the first-ever joint chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) field training exercise at Churchill Downs Racetrack on Mar. 14th.

    National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST) from all over the country joined the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Hazardous Incident Response Team (HIRT) and local FBI agents to conduct a preparatory field training exercise for this year’s 149th Kentucky Derby.

    The Kentucky Army National Guard has been assisting local security and police at the Kentucky Derby for the past 116 years. As the 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby approaches in 2024, the 41st CST requested additional support from other state CSTs to start training together before the 150th anniversary.

    CST units within the National Guard support local first responders by identifying and assessing CBRN substances and responding to possible hazardous material. This joint training exercise allows the different agencies to share professional knowledge and create process and procedures standards to follow if a response is required.

    “Bringing that education out to the greater municipal fire services and law enforcement services, that is probably the core of our mission; interacting with first responders within the state,” said Staff Sgt. Larry Damour, Survey Team Chief, 12th CST, NHARNG.

    Planning for this training exercise started at the end of the 2022 Kentucky Derby. It consisted of monthly training plans with the LMPD and other local and federal agencies, as well as bringing in various state CST units 4-6 months before the start of the Kentucky Derby.

    Standard procedure is when first responders find an unidentified substance, the CST is the secondary response team called to the scene. They are briefed by the first responders and share information on how to proceed with the unidentified substance. This training changed that process by having the CSTs act as first responders as the Multiple Joint Hazard Assessment Teams (JHAT) patrol the area with equipment that constantly monitors for isotopes.

    “This exercise is designed to prepare us to go from that passive phase of monitoring to a more active traditional type of response for a weapons of mass destruction civil support team,” explains Master Sgt. Scott Terrill, 41st CST, Kentucky Army National Guard.

    “I have not heard about any other states doing this, but this started being talked about a little more in the community right after the Boston Marathon bombing because there were a lot of questions about ‘if and when these things start happening, how are we going to respond?’”
    Throughout the exercise, agencies responded to mock CBRN incidents that could occur during the Kentucky Derby, which included rescuing fake casualties. Multiple JHATs were stationary and roaming with airborne and radiation monitoring equipment to detect hazards.

    Decontamination areas were also set up so the teams could practice proper cleaning procedures. If someone is exposed to CBRN material, they must undergo a decontamination process to clean all contaminated material off clothes and skin.

    Officer Justin Buske, a HIRT officer with the LMPD, worked with Damour and Staff Sgt. Derek Richardson, another Survey Team Chief with the 12th CST, NHARNG, at the VIP decontamination training area. Buske stressed how important this training is for officers who don’t normally work in this capacity.

    “I don’t do this as my normal job. I am a patrol officer usually. So just to have them there as an expert in the field to help us get to where we need to get to and train with us is a resource that most teams don’t have in our kind of positions,” stated Buske.

    “It’s important that we train together with the National Guard because when it is real and not training, we have already established a rapport and know how to work together.”

    As the Kentucky Derby kicks off this May, all of the same personnel from participating agencies will come together again to put their training into effect and to be a valuable asset to the safety of everyone attending the 149th Kentucky Derby.



    Date Taken: 03.15.2023
    Date Posted: 04.02.2023 07:58
    Story ID: 441766
    Location: LOUISVILLE, KY, US 

    Web Views: 126
    Downloads: 0