An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Oct. 9, 2020

34th CST trains with federal, state, local first responders

By Mike Vrabel Virginia National Guard

GLEN ALLEN, Va. — Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Fort Pickett-based 34th Civil Support Team partnered with federal, state and local first responders to conduct a training exercise Sept. 18.

The exercise capped a week of interagency training designed to grow partnerships between the agencies and help them work together in real-world scenarios.

Together with representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Virginia State Police, Virginia Beach Police Department and Richmond Police Department, 16 members of the CST provided their unique response capability to tackle training scenarios simulating chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive threats.

The training was beneficial to everyone, said Capt. Jason Dodge, the 34th CST’s deputy commander.

“Interagency training helps first responders in the community identify any capability or tactics, techniques and procedures gaps that may exist,” said Dodge. “Also, witnessing how a different agency approaches a scenario helps all CST members, from leadership and how their questions are informed to the boots-on-the-ground Soldiers interpreting and communicating their downrange findings.”

Responding to three mock scenarios at a youth sports complex, the group broke up into three teams comprised of members from each agency. This ensured they worked together and learned the capabilities each entity can provide in a response scenario.

“Breaking the class up into small groups representing all agencies was essential to ensure everyone had a chance to see how each organization operated. Not only that, it was a great opportunity for those members to form personal relationships with each other,” said Dodge. “In the first responder community, we say it’s important to get to know each other before we have to work together after a disaster occurs.”

The mock scenarios the teams had to negotiate included complex explosives or hazardous materials threats, in some cases requiring several response capabilities to be employed. Mock victims helped make the scenarios as realistic as possible.

“One training scenario involved a CST member exhibiting unique medical symptoms secured to a dangerous device,” said Dodge. “Responding CST members drew on their background to ensure responding law enforcement personnel donned the appropriate level of PPE (personal protective equipment). In return, the LE (law enforcement) members rescued the CST member from the dangerous device.“

In the days leading up to the culminating field exercise, the different agencies conducted classroom training at the Sgt. Bob Slaughter Headquarters at Defense Supply Center in Richmond, familiarizing each other with each agency’s capabilities and specialties.

“The teamwork between the agencies was cordial and energizing. We spent most of the week on our feet demonstrating equipment, and the training scenarios ensured everyone had a chance to contribute their specialty,” said Dodge.

The training capped off a busy summer of exercises for the CST, including field training events in Maryland, Henrico County, Virginia, and Virginia Beach.



Related Articles
Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, 192nd Wing, conduct an engineer exchange with Republic of Tajikistan military and law enforcement personnel Jan. 22-26, 2024, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Virginia Airmen Conduct Engineer Exchange in Tajikistan
By Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | Feb. 14, 2024
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, 192nd Wing, conducted an engineer exchange with Republic of Tajikistan...

Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the Richmond-Based 34th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package conduct a collective training exercise Jan. 6, 2024, at Fort Barfoot, Virginia. The exercise enabled new personnel to train on the basics of incident management and emergency response.
Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen Train on Emergency Response
By Spc. Ericka Gillespie, | Jan. 31, 2024
FORT BARFOOT, Va. – Virginia National Guard members of the 34th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package conducted a collective training event Jan. 5-7 to instruct...

Approximately 70 Soldiers assigned to the Virginia National Guard’s 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Headquarters, 329th Regional Support Group, begin federal active duty with a departure ceremony Jan. 28, 2024, in Virginia Beach. The troops will deploy to Poland and serve under the command of U.S. Army’s 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade to provide sustainment command and control and support to forward-stationed U.S. and allied forces in the region.
Virginia Guard Begins Federal Duty Before Poland Deployment
By Mike Vrabel, | Jan. 31, 2024
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.  –  Approximately 70 Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to Headquarters, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, began a federal active-duty mobilization with a...