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Mississippi National Guard Plans WMD Drill

Global Security Newswire

Members of the Mississippi National Guard tomorrow are scheduled to conduct a drill involving the suspected release of a lethal agent, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, June 27, 2005).

After an unidentified biological agent or chemical is detected in Canton, Quick Reactionary Force teams are to land by helicopter and secure the area around the city’s Multipurpose Complex. The 47th Civil Support Team, which was formed last year to deal with WMD incidents, will hunt for the agent.

Another 70 soldiers are expected to provide additional support.

The exercise is scheduled to last around three hours, ending when no indications are found of a dangerous substance, AP reported (Associated Press, April 18).

Meanwhile, emergency and school officials in Gwinnett County, Ga., yesterday conducted a sarin attack exercise at a mock high school, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The exercise was a simulation of a gas attack on a school of 2,000 students. Sarin was released at the entrance to “Suwanee High School” — in actuality a schools training center — killing a faculty member and injuring a number of students.

The drill involved county police and fire personnel, school officials, and officials from the cities of Duluth and Suwanee, the Journal-Constitution reported.

“It went real well,” said county Fire Department spokesman Thomas Rutledge. “I think agencies walked away with a better understanding of each others’ duties, responsibilities and capabilities” (John Ghirardini, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 18).