NUCLEAR & WMD DRILLS


Title: Big Nuke Terror Drill On Tap In U.S. Today
Date: April 23, 2007
Source: World Net Daily

Abstract: A joint task force involving the military, Department of Homeland Security and police is set to begin a sophisticated and realistic drill today on how to respond to a terrorist nuclear bomb detonated on U.S. soil.

Dubbed "Noble Resolve '07," the series of tests are a follow-up to a similar operation last year called "Urban Resolve" and will run through Friday.

The U.S. Joint Forces Command, which recently modeled every building in Baghdad in virtual space, is using that same technology in the Tidewater area of southern Virginia for this modeling and simulation project. Joining the command in the operation will be the Northern Command, DHS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Virginia police.

The planned scenario involves a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb headed to Virginia from a foreign country.

"It's a venue that we're providing to allow a variety of organizations to work issues that they're concerned about, and have access to partners that they wouldn't normally have access to," explained Navy Capt. John M. Kersh Jr., who heads U.S. Joint Forces Command's J9's Joint Context and Homeland Defense Department. "I'm sure there are already some working relationships. Anything we can do to enhance those relationships and introduce other people, that's a great thing."

Kersh said the military is taking what it learned overseas and bringing that knowledge back to the U.S. to protect the homeland. In this scenario, the threat originates in Europe and travels to the U.S.

"You try to prevent the problem by working with your multinational partners," he said. "And give the multinational partners an opportunity to interrupt the threat as soon as possible, so you work the problem as far in advance as you can."

In this case, as the bomb gets closer to its destination, other agencies are brought into the planning.

"The problem eventually arrives at the Commonwealth of Virginia with that threat making it into port and then blowing up," he said. "This will cause us to work the consequence management part of the problem."

Noble Resolve '07 will test state planners and emergency manpower as well as federal.

"One of the capabilities that's going to be flexed during this is a new capability that the commonwealth has stood up called the fusion center," said Kersh. "It's manned by folks from Virginia, including the state police, and they've got actual DHS employees in there as well. The fusion center is in a state police headquarters and it's collocated with Virginia's emergency operations center."

Later this year, many members of the team will work with city officials in Portland, Ore., and the Oregon National Guard in an exercise designed to prevent, prepare for and respond to large-scale terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction.

One nuclear terror expert said last week the chances of a detonation in the U.S. in the next decade are 50 percent.

Also last week, Vice President Dick Cheney said the threat of nuclear terrorism is very real.

"The fact is that the threat to the United States now of a 9/11 occurring with a group of terrorists armed not with airline tickets and box cutters, but with a nuclear weapon in the middle of one of our own cities is the greatest threat we face," he said. "It's a very real threat. It's something that we have to worry about and defeat every single day" (World Net Daily, 2007).

Title: New Nuclear Terror Drill Sparks Conspiracy Scare
Date: August 19, 2007
Source:
World Net Daily

Abstract:
A U.S. military drill designed to enhance homeland security in the event of a nuclear terrorist attack has some officials and media outlets funded by billionaire George Soros warning it may be a "false flag" operation leading to the detonation of a real nuclear device to set the stage for martial law.

The exercise, part of the "Noble Resolve" program of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, is set for tomorrow through Friday in Portland, Ore. Like other previous drills, it involves coordination with local officials in a model nuclear attack.

The series of "Noble Resolve" experiments began April 23 in Suffolk, Va. They represent a follow-up to similar series of drills called Urban Resolve that took place in 2006.

The efforts bring together JFCOM, Northern Command, the Homeland Security Department and state and local officials to model responses to nuclear terrorist attacks.

During the experiments, which are largely based on computer modeling, the "bomb" explodes inside the simulation. "Noble Resolve," according to planners, strives to create processes for interactions among local, state, national and international officials.

Last April, a similar "Noble Resolve" exercise took place in Virginia.

However, despite the precedent, some officials and the IndyMedia organization supported by Soros are raising red flags – even claiming that in a similar exercise, President Bush ordered the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and blamed it on radical Islamic terrorists.

Writing in NewOrleans.IndyMedia.org, Capt. Eric H. May, the military correspondent for the agency, asked the following question about the Portland drill: "But what if they decide to use a real bomb rather than simulate it?"

"A false flag attack is one in which you attack your own people, then blame it on a group of people you want to attack," wrote May. "It's a radical stratagem for instantly creating hatred, and it's common, historically speaking, all the way from ancient to modern times."

May gave the following examples:

  • The Roman emperor Nero burned Rome, then blamed it on emerging Christianity.
  • The German fuhrer Hitler burned the Reichstag, then blamed it on communist Jewry.
  • The American president Bush demolished the World Trade Center, then blamed it on radical Islam.

The jitters in Portland, according to May, caused Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., to grill the Bush administration about National Security Presidential Directive 51, first reported in WND, which authorizes the executive branch to assume extraordinary powers in the event of a national emergency.

"Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right," DeFazio told the Portland Oregonian.

DeFazio, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he was denied an opportunity to examine classified documents related to Directive 51.

"At this stage of the Bush regime and its terror-driven global war, there's no shame in conspiracy theory, since it's the only theory that offers consistent, coherent answers to our growing secret government and its terror policies," wrote May.

Meanwhile, Portland's version of IndyMedia, raises even more concerns about the impending exercises.

"There has been a growing concern over the mock or simulation events (nuclear attack and martial law) proposed to take place in Portland, Oregon, by Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other governmental agencies now called Operation Noble Resolve," reports the agency in an article titled "Don't Nuke Portland." "This mock event has been feared by some in the past to set up martial law in Portland during the months of August and September, but newer information has raised concern of graver fears."

The article goes on to speculate that an actual nuclear attack by the U.S. government might take place during the drill. It goes on to assert that the 9/11 attacks were a false flag operation and urges those who have been hired or volunteered to be a part of the exercise to refuse to participate.

"Why participate in a simulation that supposes an external attack on the USA when there seems to be more internal threat by enemies of democracy within?" poses the article.

Besides grants from Soros, IndyMedia.org has also received support from Teresa Heinz Kerry's Tides Foundation. The Ford Foundation has also offered support. Ralph Nader's Public Citizen organization also assists IndyMedia.org.

When star football player Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, the The Portland, Ore., chapter of Indymedia.org posted the news of Tillman's death accompanied by this headline: "Dumb Jock Killed in Afghanistan."

According to its website, "Indymedia is a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grass-roots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate and passionate tellings of truth."

It maintains websites in 50 major American markets, five chapters in Africa, 13 in Canada, 39 in Europe, 15 in Latin America, eight in Asia, and nine in Oceania.

In light of the scare stories, the Portland Oregonian editorialized in favor of the drill and many local officials are participating in the exercise because they believe it is necessary to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

One nuclear terror expert said earlier this year the chances of a detonation in the U.S. in the next decade are 50 percent.

Also, about the same time, Vice President Dick Cheney said the threat of nuclear terrorism is very real.

"The fact is that the threat to the United States now of a 9/11 occurring with a group of terrorists armed not with airline tickets and box cutters, but with a nuclear weapon in the middle of one of our own cities is the greatest threat we face," he said. "It's a very real threat. It's something that we have to worry about and defeat every single day."

Meanwhile, the most extensive study of the effects of such an attack concluded the U.S. was woefully under-prepared to respond, particularly if the event took place in a major population center (World Net Daily, 2007).

Title: National Guard CSTs Remained Active In 2011
Date: May 16, 2012
Source: BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The National Guard’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams were deployed in the United States 128 times in support of civil authorities during fiscal year 2011.

The CSTs were established in 1998 and have been operating as full-time federally-funded National Guard units since 2001. They operate in support of local civil authorities to respond to events known or suspected of involving weapons of mass destruction, including the use of biological warfare agents, according to HSToday.us.

“We’re able to respond to an actual or suspected terrorist WMD incident and intentional and non-intentional release of CBRNE materials or natural or man-made disaster in the United States that has caused or can cause catastrophic loss of property,” Frank Hudoba, the National Guard bureau chief for the CSTs, said, HSToday.us reports.

Currently, 57 CSTs are deployed throughout the United States, although budget cuts call for the elimination of second teams recently added in New York state and Florida.

CSTs operate under federal doctrine, but while performing missions they are generally placed under the command and control of the states in which they are located. This division in command allows the CSTs to respond faster to an emergency. A CST can typically deploy within three hours of notification.

In addition to deployments involving white powder incidents, suspicious substances, chemical hazards and suspicious labs, CSTs were called on 504 times in 2011 for standby missions. These included national and state special security events, sporting events and political gatherings (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: U.S. Nuclear Terrorism Exercise Leaves Indianapolis In "Ruins"
Date:
May 29, 2012
Source:
GWU

Abstract:
A secret exercise in 1986 by a U.S. government counter-terrorist unit uncovered a host of potential problems associated with disrupting a nuclear terrorist plot in the United States. Declassified documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and posted today by the National Security Archive offer the first detailed public look at the inner workings of the agencies, military units and other U.S. entities responsible for protecting the country from a terrorist nuclear attack.

Today's posting consists of over 60 documents related to MIGHTY DERRINGER, an exercise that focused on Indianapolis in December 1986. The materials provide background on the creation, in 1974-1975, of the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST), a group assigned to respond to plausible threats of nuclear terrorism or extortion. Today, NEST (now the Nuclear Emergency Support Team) conducts exercises to assess its capability to respond to the possible presence of a terrorist device and test the ability of NEST and critical cooperating organizations (including military units)to work together.

While the MIGHTY DERRINGER exercise and resulting documents are over two decades old, the institutions participating in the exercise retain their roles today, and the issues confronting them in 1986 are similar to the ones that they would face in responding to a nuclear threat in 2012 (and beyond).

This posting is notable for being the first publication of documents that provide in-depth exposure into all aspects of such an exercise - including the state-of-play at key points and the array of issues involved in disabling terrorist devices. Of particular interest are references to the participation of the Joint Special Operations Command and Delta Force - mirroring the role they would have in a real-world incident. In addition, after-action reports reveal the assorted problems that can arise in coordinating the response to a nuclear terrorist threat among a large number of organizations.

The Mighty Derringer Exercise
In late January and early February 2012, members of the Department of Energy's Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) patrolled Lucas Oil Stadium as well as surrounding areas of Indianapolis as a precautionary measure in advance of Super Bowl XLVI. An initial survey to gather information on background levels of radiation was followed by an actual search for signatures associated with either a nuclear explosive device or a radiation dispersal device (a 'dirty bomb').1 Fortunately, none was found.

Over twenty-five years earlier, for a few days in early December 1986, NEST personnel also patrolled Indianapolis, also in search of a nuclear device. That search was triggered by an intelligence report that suggested that an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) might have been smuggled into the city by terrorists. With the assistance of the Delta Force, U.S. personnel were able to recover and disable the device in a fictitious neighboring country; unfortunately the Indianapolis device exploded and 20 square blocks in downtown Indianapolis were completely destroyed.

As it happens, the terrorist group, the intelligence report, and the detonation were fictional - elements of a NEST exercise designated MIGHTY DERRINGER, one of a number of tests designed to anticipate and prevent the potential real-world catastrophe of a terrorist nuclear strike in a major American city. Documents published today by the National Security Archive provide newly declassified details on how the MIGHTY DERRINGER exercise unfolded and how the participants later evaluated it.

This is the most extensive set of declassified documents on any nuclear counterterrorism exercise, covering every phase of the response, from concept to critiques, and it offers valuable insights into a world that is usually hidden from public scrutiny. Among the disclosures:

§ The role of the top secret Joint Special Operations Command's Delta Force in carrying out the assault on the terrorist cell in the fictional country of Montrev.

§ Descriptions of the different types of disablement techniques U.S. forces utilize - emergency destruct, standard destruction, and hard entry.

§ Assessments of the coordination problems and different perspectives of agencies that would be involved in a real-world response.

The instruction to establish NEST, known until 2002 as the Nuclear Emergency Search Team, took the form of a November 18, 1974 memo from Maj. Gen. Ernest Graves, the Atomic Energy Commission's assistant general manager for military application, to Mahlon Gates, the manager of the commission's Nevada Operations Office. (Document 1). Gates was "directed and authorized" to assume responsibility for the planning and execution of field operations employing AEC radiation detection systems for the "search and identification of lost or stolen nuclear weapons and special nuclear materials, bomb threats, and radiation dispersal threats."

Personnel for NEST would come from AEC's nuclear weapons laboratories - Lawrence Livermore, Sandia, and Los Alamos - as well as key AEC contractors. Almost all those individuals would continue in their regular positions full-time and become part of a NEST effort when required.

What inspired Graves' memo was an incident that had taken place in May of that year. The Federal Bureau of Investigation received a letter demanding $200,000. Failure to comply would result in the detonation of a nuclear bomb somewhere in Boston. Personnel and equipment were quickly assembled and transported to Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York. But before the team could make it to the threatened city, the crisis receded when no-one came to pick up the $200,000 in phony bills left at the designated site. 2

But the incident and the difficulties involved in responding to the threat convinced senior leaders that there was a need for a dedicated capability to deal with any attempt at nuclear extortion or nuclear terrorism. From its inception, NEST devoted considerable time and effort to conducting exercises designed to allow the team to test its readiness, procedures, and equipment in a variety of scenarios. In addition, since confronting a nuclear threat would involve not only NEST but a multitude of organizations, exercises provided an opportunity to identify potential problems in interagency cooperation.

MIGHTY DERRINGER was a particularly notable exercise in exploring the organizational, governmental, and technical problems that might arise in responding to a nuclear terrorist threat. While the existence of MIGHTY DERRINGER has been reported previously, the documents obtained by the National Security Archive and posted in this briefing book provide far more detail than previously available on the scenario, results, and after-action assessments of the assorted organizations involved. Since NEST and these other government entities are still critical components of America's counter-terrorist capability, these records are valuable for the insight they offer into how a current-day nuclear detection operation would unfold and particularly what kinds of problems might be encountered.3

The exercise took place in two locations - Camp Atterbury, Indiana, near Indianapolis, and Area A-25 of the Energy Department's Nevada Test Site - which corresponded to the two locations involved in the exercise scenario. One of the those locations was Indianapolis while the other was the country of 'Montrev' - a rather transparent fictional version of Mexico (since Montrev shared a border with the United States, its capital city was 'Montrev City', and its primary security agency was the Directorate for Federal Security - the same as Mexico's).

Montrev was the initial focus of the exercise, with a terrorist group commanded by "Gooch" threatening to detonate an improvised nuclear device (IND) near the country's Bullatcha oil field. According to the scenario, terrorists had stolen the devices from a new nuclear weapons state. Eventually, the participants discovered that that there was a second nuclear device and it appeared that it was being infiltrated into the United States, possibly with Pittsburgh as a target - although it was subsequently determined that the target was Indianapolis. While U.S. forces (with Delta Force assistance) were able to recover and disable the device in Montrev, Indianapolis experienced a 1 kiloton nuclear detonation that resulted in "total devastation over a 20 square block area." (Document 38) The scenario had originally posited a successful disarming, but the exercise controllers decided to introduce a new element.

The scenario allowed for all aspects of a possible response to a nuclear terrorist/extortionist threat to be practiced - from initial assessment of the threat to the management of the "consequences" of a detonation. The documents posted cover, with varying detail, the core aspects of a response - intelligence collection, technical and behavioral assessments, search, access/defeat of terrorist forces, recovery of a device, diagnostics, hazards and effects estimation, disablement and damage limitation, safe transportation of the device, and consequence management of a detonation. In addition, they also concern a variety of important aspects of a response - including security, command and control, communications, logistics, radiological measurement and containment, weather forecasting, public information, and interaction with local officials.

The documents also identify the large number of organizations involved in the exercise. There is NEST and the organizations that contributed members or capabilities - including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and contractor EG&G. Additional organizations whose participation is evident include the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Special Operations Command, Special Forces Operation Detachment - Delta (Delta Force), several military explosive ordnance disposal units (from the Army and Navy), the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Beyond detailing participants and describing different aspects of the exercise and static plans, some of the documents (the 'Sitreps'- Document 19, Document 23, Document 32) provide a more dynamic view of the state of play at various points in the exercise. In addition, the post-exercise critiques provide different individual and institutional perspectives as to either the realism of the exercise or what the exercise revealed about strengths and weaknesses of the then current U.S. ability to respond to a nuclear terrorist threat.

Thus, Vic Berkinklau, an engineer with the Atomic Energy Commission, in addition to describing MIGHTY DERRINGER as an "Excellent, well managed exercise," had an additional eight observations which concerned subjects such as uncertainty as to the number of NEST personnel needed in Montrev, the relationship between NEST and the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team, and the need for more detailed analysis of the consequences of a nuclear detonation in a populated area (Document 43). L.J. Wolfson of the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technical Center contributed an eight-page single-spaced analysis concerning a variety of topics, including the nuclear device, assessment and intelligence, command and control and disablement. He observed (Document 47) that "there is too great a prevalence to believe what might, and probably is, very inconclusive intelligence information" and that "the entire operation was slowed and overburdened by the number of personnel involved."

Commenting on the terrorism phase of the exercise (Document 50), William Chambers, NEST member and site controller for the Indianapolis component of the exercise, wrote that liaison between the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team, NEST, and EOD personnel was "excellent" but that "the joint procedures for withdrawing the HRT and survivors, securing the perimeter, and clearing access to the device need clarification." An unattributed comment (Document 66) suggested that the Delta Force players did not appreciate the "gravity of dealing with a nuclear device."

In the subsequent twenty-five years, NEST and other organizations concerned with nuclear terrorism have conducted a significant number of exercises - particularly following the attacks of September 11, 2001.4 However, because of its scale and scope MIGHTY DERRINGER remains one of the more notable nuclear counterterrorism exercises.

The Energy Department is keeping secret significant aspects of MIGHTY DERRINGER, but more may be learned about the exercise and the State Department's role in it from the response to a pending request. Moreover, files on MIGHTY DERRINGER at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library will eventually be declassified and shed light on the National Security Council's role (GWU, 2012).

Title: Breaking: Major Nuclear Base Running ‘Containment Exercise’ Amid Censored Radiation Spikes
Date: June 8, 2012
Source: Natural Society

Abstract: Amid a number of reports of massive and bizarre radiation readouts coming from experts, eyewitnesses, radiation facilities, and a key choice news outlet, it has now come out that one of the largest nuclear bases is currently running a ‘nuclear containment exercise’. The Minot Airforce Base exercise, running in North Dakota, reportedly involves the use of B-52 aircrafts. The news comes after a developing story arose over the potential cover-up of a nuclear situation stemming from near the border of Indiana and Michigan.

Sources from near where the elevated levels of radiation were observed say that a Department of Homeland Security ‘hazmat’ fleet has been dispatched after ‘years’ of inactivity. The story first erupted after online geiger readings showed an unprecedented radiation spike in the area, with levels reaching as high as 7.139 counts per minute (CPM) over the average of between 5 and 6. While there has been no official reported cause of the spike, there has been quite a bit of foul play regarding the information being put forth by many media outlets, the EPA, and even radiation measurement centers.  After the readings shocked viewers, the EPA quickly censored the ability to view the levels online.

Thankfully, the readings were captured in a screenshot, which show the elevated levels far exceeding normal limits.

Measurements were recorded by a number of sources, though the growing publicity over the event has caused denial and censorship from not only the EPA but private organizations as well. The Radiation Network originally released an image showing an outburst in radiation levels stemming from the location, but later issued a special message on their home page stating that the readings were the result of an ‘error’. This, of course, is virtually impossible as the readings were confirmed by two entirely different locations. BlackCat and the Radiation Network both recorded the levels, meaning that the likelihood both of their systems failed at the exact same time and produced the exact same result would be dismal.

As the story develops, more information will undoubtedly come out on the subject. It appears that the EPA’s incognito takedown of the measurement results indicates that the agency, perhaps along with other government organizations, will vehemently deny that there was any real spike in radiation levels. The ‘failure’ message issued by the Radiation Network also shows that it is very possible that an organized level of non-disclosure may ultimately be the result until alternative media organizations continue to pry into the situation (Natural Society, 2012)

Title: WMD Training Comes To Myrtle Beach Area
Date: July 8, 2012
Source:
Myrtle Beach Online

Abstract: If you see something out of the ordinary this week near the South Strand Medical Center, the Conway shooting range, or the Horry County Public Works department, don’t call the authorities. They will most likely already be there for the Weapons of Mass Destruction training taking place this week throughout the Horry County.

Horry County Emergency Management received a grant from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) through the Department of Homeland Security WMD Exercise Grant Program. The grant pays for special training for different emergency response departments across the state for scenarios such as a school shooting, a chemical weapon, and other high risk scenarios.

“The opportunity is tremendous because not only are we able to utilize our resources in the county but include state level teams to coordinate together and work together as they would in a major event,” said Horry County Emergency Management Director Randall Webster. “The positive side of it is allowing all these teams to work together in an exercise so if the time comes down the road to do this for real they already know.”

The training will take place throughout the week from Monday until Friday. It aims to test how prepared the emergency responce units throughout the state are for a disaster. Red Tail Tactical Technology, Inc., will conduct the training.

Horry County Fire Rescue’s Chief of Training Matt Smith was one of the people who worked to bring this training to Myrtle Beach. Smith said this will help each department work out any problems that might arise if something actually did happen.

“What it causes you to do is it causes you to review your current practices and if those practices are working for everyone involved. If you run into an issue in training you can catch on to what’s wrong in real life scenario,” Smith said.

So, what are the specifics of the training? Smith said he couldn’t reveal anymore details.

Departments such as the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), and Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Team will all participate in the training.

Smith said that they have been trying to find money to host this training for a few years.

“We have wanted to do this training and we looked for funding last year but we couldn’t find any funding. We got word there was funding available through SLED and I met with them and showed them what we wanted to do,” Smith said.

Webster says that the intense hands-on training makes this program great.

“One of the bigger better things about this whole exercise is actually doing the training and bringing in resources and personnel with the most up to date techniques and skill sets. They are bringing in things they learned from Afghanistan and Iraq, so we are seeing an issue that the teams may face in real world scenarios instead of just looking at a textbook,” Webster said.

The group asked civilians to participate in the event as well. Smith said they hope to have about 120 volunteers to play doctors, nurses, students, and faculty in the different training exercises (Myrtle Beach Online, 2012).

Title: International Nuclear Terrorism Drills Kick Off In Moscow
Date:
September 27, 2012
Source:
Xinhua News

Abstract:
International exercises in countering nuclear terrorism started here Thursday, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said.

According to a statement on the FSB's official website, Guard-2012 involved 58 countries, as well as observers from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Interpol, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The exercises, within the framework of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), are aimed at demonstrating anti-terror measures.

The Russian Defense Ministry and state atomic agency Rosatom would demonstrate the country's latest technology for detecting nuclear materials and radioactive substances, the FSB said.

They would also put special relief units through their paces in dealing with a simulated aftermath of a nuclear terrorism attack, it said.

In 2006, the presidents of Russia and the United States jointly launched GICNT at the G8 summit in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

GICNT is an international partnership of 85 nations and four official observers. Its mission is to strengthen international cooperation to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism. The United States and Russia serve as co-chairs (Xinhua News, 2012).