, N.D. — Between 100 and 150 emergency responders will be reacting to a continuously developing exercise scenario this week in Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn. The North Dakota National Guard
’s Bismarck-based 81st Civil Support Team will lead the exercise that incorporates other CSTs from Minnesota, Wyoming and Oregon. Additionally, numerous federal, state, local and private industry representatives will take part.
The created scenario focuses on a World Energy Forum meeting taking place in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area. Agencies will begin preparatory measures for the event before being informed by the North Dakota State and Local Intelligence Center that several radiation devices have been stolen. Multiple agencies will come into play in the subsequent days as sweeps are done at the FargoDome and Moorhead High School along with simulated responses at a local hospital. Daily briefs will focus on ways to improve collaboration among the wealth of agencies involved while also receiving new updates to the scenario.
North Dakota’s 81st Civil Support Team includes about two-dozen full-time Soldiers and Airmen who are trained and equipped to assist civilian first responders when reacting to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive agents.
Other participating agencies include the FBI, North Dakota Highway Patrol, North Dakota Joint Operations Center, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, State and Local Intelligence Center, North Dakota National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Department of Energy, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, North Dakota Department of Health, Radioactive Material Licensing and Inspection Program, 119th Wing, North Dakota State University, Incident Management Assistance Teams, Local Public Information Officers Network, Red River Regional Dispatch Center, Red River Valley Regional Bomb Squad, Essentia Health, Sanford Health, InfraGuard, Clay County Public Health, Fargo Cass Public Health, Cass County Emergency Management, Clay County Emergency Management, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Moorhead Police Department, West Fargo Police Department, Fargo Police Department, Fargo-Moorhead Ambulance Service, Moorhead Fire Department, Fargo Fire Department and City of Fargo Emergency Management.
WHO: North Dakota National Guard’s 81st Civil Support Team and area emergency responders
WHAT: weeklong training exercise
WHEN/WHERE: the two best times for media coverage will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13 and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14; those times will include sweeps of the FargoDome and Moorhead High School, respectively, as part of the exercise scenario
MEDIA: For more information, call Amy Wieser Willson on Tuesday or later at 701-451-2273.
Please note that all participants will be wearing civilian clothes to minimize any chances of others responding with alarm as they react to the imaginary situations.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 4,000 Soldiers and more than 2,400 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. About 70 percent of all members serving today have joined since that time. Currently, about 70 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas and more than 200 are serving in Washington, D.C., and on the southwest border of the United States. With a total force of about 4,400 Guardsmen, the North Dakota National Guard remains ready for stateside response and national defense. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the North Dakota National Guard, a rate that’s more than four times the national average.