Hawaii Guardsmen Train for WMD Response

Members of the Hawaii National Guard spent six days at Bellows Air Force Station training as a chemical, biological, nuclear, high-yield explosive enhanced response force, or CERF. Joint Interagency Training and Education Center officials evaluated this team, which included airmen and soldiers. Scenarios included responding to a dirty bomb containing a nerve agent. The Guardsmen had to conduct search and extraction, decontamination, and medical treatment on mock victims during the mid-December exercise. “The Guard’s primary mission is homeland defense. Typically, we respond to earthquakes, floods, storm cleanup, etc. We’ve never had any incident with weapons of mass destruction in Hawaii like they did in the Oklahoma City bombing, but anything that might happen to the homeland, we would be there,” said Col. Stanley Sato, commander of the Hawaii Air Guard’s 154th Medical Group at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (Bellows report by SSgt. Carolyn Viss)