ANAHEIM, Calif. - The California National Guard’s 9th Civil Support Team conducted a training exercise July 14 to prepare for an evaluation next March.
The simulated hazmat event covered different methods of response to the various threats the 9th CST may encounter when called into action.
“We are a hazmat team, a specialized team, dedicated to any kind of chemical, biological, nuclear or radiation response,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Noonan, commander of the 9th Civil Support Team.
U.S. Army Sgt. Tiffany Zumaya and Sgt. Thomas Brown from the 9th CST suited up and responded to a scenario where an unknown chemical substance was found in a school, threatening the lives of students and faculty.
When Zumaya and Brown entered the building, they discovered a white powder next to discarded disposable masks and gloves, along with a small unknown mechanical device under a nearby desk in a backpack.
The two quickly accessed the situation and successfully identified the substance while keeping an eye on the oxygen levels in their suits.
“Good learning, good training. That’s what it is, to see what we fall short on and what we can improve to fix it,” said Zumaya. “We talked to our observers, our trainers and they gave us feedback. We had lessons learned for sure.”
The Civil Support Training Activity U.S. Army North evaluated the Soldiers.
“I think it’s critical for the public to know that they have a really confident team within Southern California that is prepared to assist local responders and that fully understand local protocols,” said Alpha Team Chief Phillippe Kebreau from the CSTA Army North.
The 9th Civil Support Team, established in 1999, is one of 57 teams across the United States ready to support civil authorities in the event of the use or threat of a weapon of mass destruction.