Exercise Tests Radiological Detection Capabilities on Water
Story by: Master Sgt. Corinne Lombardo - Joint Force Headquarters-NY Dated: Wed, Aug 4, 2010
COEYMANS-New York Naval Militia member Bharath Bhola, an Aviation Boatswain Mate, pilots Patrol Boat 230 during a joint operation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the Hudson River here on Wednesday, August 4. Bhola is a Cohoes resident who works for the Capital District Transportation Authority as a bus driver. (Photo by Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo)
COEYMANS -- The New York Naval Militia teamed up with law enforcement agents from the Department of Environmental Conservation to test Weapons of Mass Destruction/Radiation detection capabilities, Wednesday, August 4 on the Hudson River.
A DEC boat, equipped with a mobile radiation detection system, used the Naval Militia’s Patrol Boat 230 as a target during the exercise. The DEC boat repeatedly passed the patrol boat to get readings from a radiation source onboard.
The detection system used by the DEC locates radioactive sources, radiological contamination, and potential radiological weapons.
DEC Law Enforcement is an extra set of eyes and ears, ready to help federal agencies deter and react to homeland threats or emergencies.
The New York Naval Militia is the naval component of the New York State defense forces. Its Military Emergency Boat Service operates a fleet of ten boats on New York waters in support of federal and state agencies and local law enforcement.
“The Naval Militia was key to providing a maritime training platform. They provided an opportunity to interdict in an open water scenario, which helps us determine how close is close based on the level of radiation threat,” said Walter Maloney, Tech. Sgt. for DEC’s Homeland Security Unit in Albany.
The exercise was part of ‘Trojan Horse 2010’ an annual maritime security training exercise sponsored by State University of New York Maritime College. The exercise joined New York Naval Militia personnel with state, federal and law enforcement agencies while accessing homeland security threats and testing security plans. The exercise mimics major maritime incidents directly impacting port security.
While PB 230 worked with DEC, the Naval Militia’s PB 300 assisted the Ossining Police Department in a Maritime Industry Security Exercise north of the Tappen Zee Bridge and PB 440 was stationed at the United States Coast Guard station on Staten Island. All three missions were designed to test security plans, as required annually by federal regulations, and were in support of SUNY Maritime College exercises.
“The beauty of this exercise is the unique interagency cooperation and familiarity we establish. It allows us to work immediately and more effectively during a real world emergency,” said Major General Robert Wolf, the commander of the New York Naval Militia and SUNY Maritime College’s executive director of Trojan Horse.
Since September 11, 2001, the New York Naval Militia firmly established its role in defense support to civilial authorities through the creation of the Military Emergency Boat Service (MEBS) whose state-wide missions include support to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and border protection on Lake Champlain and support to the U.S. Coast Guard inspections of commercial shipping in New York Harbor.
The MEBS provides port security, support of law enforcement, surveillance, evacuations, maritime transport and vessel escort, critical infrastructure protection and participates in joint maritime operations.