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. Exercise Tests Responses To Hurricane, Nuke And Terrorists

The nuclear scenario postulates the detonation of a 10-kiloton nuclear device, which will draw in state and local authorities, and national guard units from three states.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 30, 2007
A hurricane roars ashore in Rhode Island. A nuclear device goes off in the Midwest. And terrorists begin wreaking havoc in Alaska. What do you do? The Pentagon and other US and Canadian agencies plan to answer that question in a major exercise called Ardent Sentry-Northern Edge 07 that began Monday and will play out over the next 18 days, involving thousands of US troops and state and local officials.

The US Northern Command said it is "the largest and most complex exercise" it has undertaken, combining natural and man-made disasters to test preparedness plans on a national level.

"The intent obviously is to stress the system," said Mike Kucharak, a spokesman for the Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The peak of the exercise will come next week when a hurricane bears into Rhode Island under one scenario, and an improvised nuclear device is detonated in Indiana in another.

Interspersed with those crises will be simulated terrorist actions in Alaska, some of which will take place at sea while others will involve aircraft.

That will allow participants to explore what might happen if terrorists tries to take advantage of catastrophic event, Kucharak said. "How would that stress the system?"

The nuclear scenario postulates the detonation of a 10-kiloton nuclear device, which will draw in state and local authorities, and national guard units from three states. Some 2,000 active duty military personnel will also take part.

Kucharak said the military will for deploy specialized forces to handle the consequences of a simulated nuclear event.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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