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    Vibrant Response kicks off at MUTC



    Story by Staff Sgt. Brad Staggs 

    Camp Atterbury Indiana

    BUTLERVILLE, Ind. – A simulated nuclear bomb is detonated in Louisville, Ky., and a local community is portrayed as being torn apart in the aftermath of the explosion as part of a coordinated exercise with multiple governmental agencies.

    This is the basis of Vibrant Response 11.1, a U.S. Northern Command homeland emergency response exercise being conducted at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex by U.S. Army North.

    For two weeks in March, more than 3,500 personnel who are part of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Consequence Management Response Force are descending on MUTC which is doubling as a community in distress. The magnitude of preparation for the exercise has been enormous according to Lt. Col. Dale Lyles, MUTC Site Commander.

    “We have been physically prepping the facility for over a month,” Lyles explained. “It may look like hell on Earth, but there is a reason for the placement of every piece of rubble, trash, and destroyed vehicle.”

    The first day of the exercise showed how much the preparation has paid off by presenting an atmosphere to the first responders unlike anyplace they had ever trained.

    Immediately following the notional (or make-believe) nuclear blast, soldiers from the 85th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team based in Wyoming were sent into the area to test the air for residual radiation. Wearing suits to protect them against any possible radiation, the soldiers used a 4-wheel all-terrain vehicle to weave in and out of the destruction.

    The soldiers stopped at various points throughout the facility in order to test the air, going so far as to enter the Muscatatuck headquarters building, testing air quality and all flat surfaces for contamination while headquarters personnel went on with their daily work.

    The first day of Vibrant Response represents the tip of the response iceberg. After ensuring that the air is breathable, emergency responders will flood into the site looking for mock survivors and assisting people in getting the basic necessities of life.

    For the next week, the soldiers and emergency responders will not know what’s coming next. It’s the only way to train for the unknown.



    Date Taken: 03.12.2011
    Date Posted: 03.13.2011 09:31
    Story ID: 66978
    Location: BUTLERVILLE, IN, US 

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