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.

NEWS | Dec. 14, 2023

Kentucky aviators take part in simulated post-nuclear response exercise

By Milt Spalding, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

The Department of Homeland Security led the U.S. National Technical Nuclear Forensics (NTNF) community of interest conducted through its national training exercise, PROMINENT HUNT 24-1, at the Boone National Guard Center from Oct. 16-20, 2023. The exercise allowed some Kentucky Guardsmen to work with federal, state, and local agencies while simulating post-nuclear forensics missions across Northern Kentucky and exploring emergency response tactics.
The Ground Collection Task Force, led by the FBI Laboratory Division, including the U.S. Army 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive (CBRNE) Command and the U.S. Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC), were tasked to travel to various locations within the post-detonation nuclear blast zone to gather and package nuclear debris and evidentiary samples for forensic analysis. The amount of radiation in each evidentiary sample was simulated based on where the evidentiary sample was collected in relation to the site of nuclear detonation.
In addition to the FBI Louisville Field Office, the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Mobile Detection Deployment Unit (MDDU), the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Radiation Health, AFTAC, the 20th CBRNE Command’s U.S. Army Nuclear Disablement Team from Maryland, along with the Texas-based CBRNE Response Team 3 from the 68th CBRNE Company took part in the exercise.
Soldiers with the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade provided helicopter transport, marking the Kentucky Guard’s first time participating in this annual exercise.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kris Hammond, a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot serving in Bravo Company, 2-147th Aviation Support Battalion, coordinated the flight crews working the exercise.
“I think in this particular case, [the Kentucky National Guard involvement] is super important because you're talking about us flying in support of something in our own backyard,” Hammond said. “I don't know who else would know this area better than us. We have a lot of senior pilots. If you're going to use aircraft here in Kentucky, we are the best option.”
Capt. Austin Powell, a staff officer from the Kentucky National Guard’s domestic operations office, expressed the benefits of working together to build these partnerships.
“It's a good thing that we got to be involved and work with other agencies,” Powell said. “Our goal is always to reach out and build or maintain relationships, so if something does happen, it's a lot easier for us. I think this exercise allowed us to make new connections here and there and keep old connections going.”
In addition to working side by side, such exercises allow the partner agencies to learn about the resources each can bring to the table and how they can work effectively and efficiently in the event of an actual emergency.
The exercise is held annually in different cities, allowing the task force to train in a variety of locations and terrain. This year, the exercise was centered in Northern Kentucky.

News Search

Narrow Search