Killeen: Joint Task Force conducts disaster exercises

The Joint Task Force Civil Support Team partnered with Fort Hood and local authorities to conduct training in multiple cities throughout Central Texas on Tuesday. (Fort Hood photo)
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) The Joint Task Force Civil Support Team partnered with Fort Hood and local authorities to conduct training in multiple cities throughout Central Texas on Tuesday.

Since Jan. 23, the team has focused on scenarios involving chemical, biological and nuclear disasters and how quickly the force and equipment could respond.

Central command was set up at the Killeen Special Events Center.

Navy Capt. Brian Hatch says that being able to set up command posts quickly in a national emergency is imperative and should be tested often.

“We set up various command posts here to be able to command and control our subordinate units that’re out in the fight,” he said.

Fort Hood units including the 1stair Cavalry Brigade, the 553rdcombat Support Battalion and the 1st Medical Brigade assisted more than 1,000 service members involved.

Fifty staffers from the City of Austin and 10 from Travis County also participated in the training.

One of the displays just outside Central Command included a helicopter that specializes in radiological and nuclear situations.

“We would be part of a team that would respond and map that radiation or find the material,” said Michael Toland, pilot from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“We would get the right info to the decision makers and law enforcement so they can move forward with whatever steps are necessary to resolve the situation.”

Members and service members involved say that the right response in these situations could mean the difference between life and death.