A chemical plant in a foreign country accidently releases a plume of toxic fumes causing panic, sickness and numerous deaths within the city where the plant is located. Adding to all the chaos, the weather makes the situation worse for the citizens who live in the area of direct impact. A call comes from the foreign country for U.S. assistance. Who will go?
Guardian Shield ’10, a yearly exercise designed to train the 7th Civil Support Command in conducting consequence management operations in response to a crisis, was conducted Aug. 17 to 20 on Rhine Ordnance Barracks in Kaiserslautern.
The 7th CSC was alerted and marshaled to Plock, Poland, in the scenario. Guardian Shield ’10 is one in a series of exercises to help the 7th CSC train for its mission in consequence management and civil affairs.
A relatively new unit having been activated in September 2009, the 7th CSC is unique as it is the only consequence management and civil affairs Reserve unit in Europe.
Its sole purpose is to respond to incidents and provide immediate assistance so the effected people or country can return back to normality.
The 7th CSC provides trained and ready, forward-stationed consequence management command and control, civil support teams and civil affairs capabilities. It also provide immediate response capability as directed by U.S. Army Europe.
“The focus of this one was to conduct command and control,” said Capt. Major Robinson, a 7th CSC training officer and the night shift battle captain for this exercise.
“It is almost like night and day in how much better we were this time around. What I see is the 7th CSC moving into a real world direction, and it won’t be long before we are ready to handle it,” Captain Robinson said. “We are headed in the right direction.”
Mark Terry, a consequence management defense contractor supporting the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and a GS ’10 exercise planner/observer controller and After Action Review facilitator, said, “The 7th has its own challenges because of
personnel rotations. The beauty of the 7th CSC is that there is a strong
desire to do well and to learn and if you have that, you are golden.”
These exercises are conducted so strengths and weaknesses can be
pinpointed and built upon. And as long as there are dedicated people conducting the exercise, the unit will have a really good grasp on how things are done, Mr. Terry said.
He then added that from top to bottom, the 7th CSC has a great team that wants to work toward an attainable goal. And, of course, the DTRA is here to help with the foreign consequence management training.
“GS ’10 provided some of the most realistic training for the 7th CSC with members of the Polish fire services, the Polish police force, U.S. Air Force and Navy, to give the exercise the feel of a real-world event,” said James Otto, 7th CSC director of emergency services.
Mother Nature brings fires, tsunamis and earthquakes to different parts of the world. Disaster strikes through accidental chemical releases or explosions.
The 7th CSC continuously trains and prepares to respond if called