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ATS supports Region VIII Homeland Response Force Exercise Evaluation

SAINT ALBANS, WEST VIRGINIA – From August 1 – 7, Applied Training Solutions, LLC (ATS), supported the Region VIII Homeland Response Force (HRF) Exercise Evaluation from Saint Albans, West Virginia. The exercise provided participants with an opportunity to review response and recovery protocols, plans, and capabilities, and to realistically assess their overall preparedness in the event of a Chemical, Biological and or Radiological attack, consistent with real world situations in 2022. Participants were also able to review orders and requirements from civil authorities to plan a rapid and focused NG response to mitigate human suffering and the loss of life. Participants included the Region VIII Utah HRF and their organic Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Task Force, as well as their Casualty Assistance Support Element (CASE). Their higher HQ Joint Task Force and other support CBRN units were simulated.

The scenarios was based around multiple attacks with Training Radiation Cs-137. On August 3, a series of explosions was simulated in the downtown area of Denver, CO area. On August 4, the scenario was a 10 KT nuclear detonation in Las Vegas, NV. On August 5, it was a series of explosions in the Phoenix, AZ area with HD Sulfur Mustard as the hazard. And on August 6 and 7, the scenario was in Reno, NV and included another series of explosions at three separate locations with GB Sarin as the Hazard.

ATS provided support to the UT HRF in developing the exercise, to include the MSEL, injects, and overall scenario to train staff level officers and NCOs on potential response to chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks within FEMA Region VIII. ATS also provided technical assistance to observer-controllers and to role-players for Higher Control and Lower Control capabilities as well as down-trace units and elements controlled by the HRF. The on-site ATS staff also continued to grow the pool of simulators by providing training to two full classes during train-up to execution of the event.

This event was the first full scale HRF evaluation executed utilizing the ATS SIM 3.0. ATS conducted the initial classroom portion with the practical exercises on the back end of training splitting the two groups by level of simulator experience to maintain continuity and allow for additional pace control of the training. After the initial training was complete and the simulators were assigned to the CRE elements, additional company-wide ATS staff arrived to support the exercise evaluation.

Day one of the evaluation consisted of the Immediate Response Mission Capability (IRMC) Commanders Assessment. Followed by two days of Commanders focus collect training events. The ATS provided simulation for all downtrace CBRN units as well as the Joint Task Force (JTF) of the represented state within the scenario. The IT developers were instrumental in maintaining and actioning the Simulation during the initial days of training. They were able to trouble shoot and correct software or design obstacles that surfaced. Their actions were swift, thus keeping the training audience focused on their tasks and not aware of any obstacles or delays that would’ve potentially been a training distraction. The ATS then staffed and supported the 36-hour continuous HRF evaluation consisting of 2 day and 1-night shifts.

The outcome of the event was beneficial to both the Region VIII UT HRF and the evaluation teams. The ATS staff and supporting personnel made great strides in progressing the CRE program in both a training environment and essentially ensuring the designated forces can respond in both training and real-world response situations.

As a leader in emergency preparedness training and readiness, ATS continues to actively work to deliver innovative, experience-based disaster-preparedness exercises solutions for local, state and federal agencies to protect communities. 

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