AURORA -‐ The recent devastation of the Oklahoma tornadoes shed an important light on the training necessary to combat wide-‐scale disaster scenarios.
This Saturday, June 8, a combined force of more than 200 National Guard soldiers from both the Army and Air Force will partake in an exercise hosted by Community College of Aurora, with the majority of activities taking place in and around building 900 of the college’s Lowry campus (at the southeast corner of Boston Street and E. Severn Place).
The training will highlight expertise in search and evacuation, decontamination, and medical capabilities stemming from both man-‐made tragedies and natural catastrophes through a planned scenario designed to mirror real life.
This group of soldiers is the same type of force that would be called at the zenith of a crisis in Colorado or deployed to hard-‐hit areas around the country. This highly skilled military unit is one of only 17 Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRBE) Enhanced Response Force Package teams in the country.
Aurora Fire Department will have an incident commander on hand who will work with command-‐and-‐ control on the military side to oversee all operations on site.
The fictional scenario at the core of the exercise will be carried out via large-‐scale assists from Community College of Aurora’s Disaster Management Institute, college personnel and community volunteers.
There will be numerous visual opportunities for both print photographers and news videographers, since the “Anderson Hotel” south side in this exercise has, in the fictional scenario, incurred major damages as result of a blast.
As patients are extricated from the hotel, they will go through full decontamination procedures before entering a medical tent. Additionally, two preprogrammed patient simulators will have injuries consistent with real-‐world medical conditions and add an extra level of realism to the exercise.
It is suggested reporters/cameramen arrive after 11 a.m. and no later than 2:30 p.m. The entire exercise should conclude by 5 p.m. Interviews with military and CCA personnel will be made available.