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Michigan National Guard trains for nuclear catastrophe

WWMT -  Nuclear Training
WWMT - Nuclear Training
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BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Michigan Army National Guard is training a special task force for nuclear catastrophe response.

The Lansing-based 46th Military Police Command tells us their specialized response force is called Command and Control Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Element.

NewsChannel 3 was allowed inside hangar at the Battle Creek Air National Guard base Friday, to see the military operations center training in action.

The soldiers were simulating a catastrophe on American soil. In the scenario, a ten-kiloton nuclear bomb had just been dropped on downtown Indianapolis.

"If we ever get called to do this, that will unquestionably be America's worst day," said Lt. Colonel Bill Humes of the Michigan Army National Guard.

In what would undoubtedly be a time of public panic, Lt. Colonel Humes says the disaster response needs to run like a well-oiled machine. Various agencies, from FEMA to the FBI to local police and fire, would be working side by side. And to save lives, it all needs to run smoothly.

Lt. Colonel Humes says that's why training is critical.

"It's too late, if it actually happens, to be trying to figure out how we can all become interconnected to be the most effective and bring people the help they need as quick as possible," Lt. Colonel Humes added.

The 46th Military Police Command will be the headquarters for a 1500-member military force, saving lives and relieving human suffering in the event of such a catastrophe.

We asked Brigadier General Michael White if this exercise is directly tied to growing fears over a North Korean nuclear threat.

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"This exercise is annual. It's not prescribed with any of the world events going on right now," Brigadier General White said. "It's not a reaction to anything going on in the bigger picture. We are charged with helping the nation in a time of disaster and that's exactly what we train for and do."

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