Nevada’s Civil Support team descended on the state Capitol Wednesday for a training exercise in handling a Hazmat or WMD incident.
Team commander Maj. Brett Compston said it’s part of a series of training events planned during the next few weeks. He said the goal is to rehearse how to handle a variety of likely scenarios ranging from chemical spills, radiation leaks, fertilizer dangers and biological threats from substances including powders.
To analyze threats, the unit has a mobile laboratory for chemical and biological testing.
The team has been in Las Vegas since 2004 but moved to Northern Nevada at the orders of Gov. Brian Sandoval earlier this month. Now, Compston said, the team is getting trained in not only potential scenarios that might occur in Northern Nevada but getting used to buildings which could become targets such as the Capitol.
The team consists of 21 personnel, all full-time active members of the Nevada National and Air National Guard. He said the team planned to repeat the exercise Wednesday several times until the entire team had gone through it.
The team’s job, he said, is to support civil authorities ranging from local law enforcement to state agencies including the Capitol Police in handling natural or man-made disasters. The unit has a four-person team on duty 24/7 and is dedicated to a response time of 90 minutes or less.