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New York National Guard, State and Local Responders Conduct Emergency Drill This Weekend

Exercise at State Preparedness Training Center Here Will Test Civilian and Military Disaster Response

ORISKANY, NY (03/30/2011)-- Hundreds of New York National Guardsmen, along with members of the New York State Police, an urban search and rescue team, and local emergency service members, will conduct a civil/military disaster drill at the New York State Preparedness Training Center here April 1 to April 3. The exercise will involve a 350-member team of Army and Air National Guard members trained to deal with chemical, biological, and radiological attacks and incidents, as well as the New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team; New York Task Force 2, upstate New York’s urban search and rescue team; Oneida County Emergency Management; the Oriskany Fire Department, the Utica City Fire Department, Utica HAZMAT, the City of Rome HAZMAT Team, Rome Memorial Hospital, and various other county and town Fire and Emergency Service organizations. The Civil Air Patrol, the Air Force’s civilian auxiliary force, will also participate. As part of the exercise New York National Guard personnel and vehicles will be flown to Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse from Stewart Air National Guard Base outside Newburgh in giant C-5A cargo aircraft on Friday April 1. They will then convoy to the exercise site. Residents living near the Training Center will notice an increase in military traffic during the weekend. "This exercise will test the ability of our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen to conduct complex tasks in a hazardous environment, while working with our partners in other state, and local agencies," said Major General Patrick Murphy the Adjutant General of New York. " We train with our civilian agency colleagues in advance so that we will understand each other’s capabilities in an emergency," Murphy explained. "Exercises such as this week’s are an excellent opportunity for our first responders to hone their skills which, in turn, enhances the State’s and local government response capabilities when they are needed most," said John R. Gibb, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. "The State Preparedness Training Center is a perfect setting for this exercise, affording us the ample space and accommodations to respond to this real-life scenario." "This facility has transformed into a state of the art training facility, as evidenced by the drills taking place here April 1st to the 3rd, and by the numerous training that takes place here by military and law enforcement personnel from all over the state throughout the year,"said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. "These types of events prepare local public safety officials with the knowledge that they need in the event of an emergency situation, and are crucial to the public safety of Oneida County," he added. added.Old hangars at the 752 acres State Training Preparedness Center, built when it was the Oneida County Airport, will be used to house the Army and Air National Guard exercise participants, as well as host the exercise itself. More than 400 members of the New York Army and Air National Guard will participate. Around 100 members of civilian fire, police, and emergency response agencies will participate. The main action takes place on Saturday when participants practice responding to a combination of disasters. Worst Case Scenario for Training: In the exercise scenario, a homemade bomb explodes at a packed hotel, causing casualties there. That incident is followed by a collision between a semi-trailer and a train made of up 72 chemical tank cars just outside the hotel. That collision, in turn, has resulted in the collapse of the hotel and an adjacent warehouse packed with bulk pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. As the exercise opens at least 1,800 people are injured, 258 are dead, local hospitals are jammed with casualties and state and federal assistance has been requested by the local emergency crews which were on the scene first. The New York National Guard conducts these types of disaster preparedness exercises three times a year to ensure that troops and leaders are well trained. The New York National Guard will exercise three key components of its response to domestic emergencies and terrorist attacks. The 174th Fighter Wing of the New York Air National Guard is designated as the element that would control Army and Air National Guard forces coming into Central New York in response to an incident or attack. The wing is based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base. During the exercise the wing’s members will test their ability to receive Guard personnel at the base, process them in, and send them onto the emergency site. The wing will also act as the controlling Guard headquarters, working with civilian agencies involved. One of New York’s two Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams-a force of 22 full-time Air and Army Guard members trained to detect the presence of chemical, biological and radiological weapons-will test their ability to enter a contaminated area and conduct a reconnaissance as part of the drill. This team, the 2nd CST is based at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia. The center piece of the Guard exercise is the opportunity to train the New York CERFP, short for CBRNE (Chemical, Biological Radiological, Nuclear, high-yield Explosive) Enhanced Response Force Package. This force of 350 Guard members from a variety of units is trained to extract victims from buildings that may be damaged by chemical, biological or radiological weapons, decontaminate them, and provide initial medical treatment. Soldiers of the 104th Military Police Battalion in Kingston provide command and control for the element, while the 152nd Engineer Company from Buffalo constitutes the search and extraction element. The decontamination team is from the 22nd Chemical Company in New York City, while the medical team is provided by the New York Air National Guard. The CERFP is augmented by a 50-member force for New York Guard volunteers. The New York Guard is a state-only volunteer force which augments the National Guard. Other Exercise Participants: Responders from the New York State Police, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and local municipal, county and state agencies will all work together in dealing with the simulated disaster. The New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team (CCSERT) consists of five, statewide regional teams. Members (approximately 80) are normally assigned as full-time road patrol troopers, investigators, and chemists (lab) who respond, when activated, to emerging incidents. CCSERT’s mission is to provide a state-level response to actual, suspected or perceived crimes scenes in which chemical, biological, explosive (or incendiary), radiological, or nuclear (CBERN) contamination or components may be present. CCSERT operators and hazardous materials technicians can provide emergency response capability to support law enforcement crime scenes or hazardous conditions. New York Task Force 2 (NY-TF2), based in Albany, provides communities throughout the State integrated, skilled urban/technical search and rescue units for incidents requiring this capability. NY-TF2 is a cooperative effort of both State and local resources. The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) developed the technical rescue training program, outfitted the team with an equipment cache of technologically advanced tools and devices, and continues to provide technical, administrative and fiscal support to the team. Local emergency response organizations provide personnel to staff the various positions. A Civil Air Patrol pilot will participate by flying a Civil Air Patrol Cessna over the exercise location and transmitting real-time images using a National Guard video system called the Geospatial Information Interoperability Exploitation - Portable. The system will be operated by two New York Army National Guard Soldiers. The system allows decision makers at a disaster site or remote location get an overview of what is going on. The New York State Training Preparedeness Center (SPTC), located at the former Oneida County Airport in Oriskany, Oneida County, is managed and operated by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. The center includes 723 acres, an educational and administration building (the former airport terminal), hangars and runways which have been transformed into a centralized training facility for New York State agency and local first responders from all disciplines. The mission of the SPTC is to provide first responders and appropriate officials the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to safely and effectively prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from terrorist acts and other major/catastrophic incidents such as natural disasters. Since 2006, the SPTC has trained more than 14,000 first responders. In addition to the courses that OCT sponsors for a statewide audience, many agencies and organization take advantage of the center’s facilities to train their own personnel. Those agencies include the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, the Utica Police Department, New York State Police and Mohawk Valley Police Academy.
© NYS DMNA Press Release:New York National Guard, State and Local Responders Conduct Emergency Drill This Weekend
Page Last Modified: Apr 02, 2011