Muskegon Metro Area News
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It's an incredible opportunity to get a phone call asking if you'd be available to come to something remarkably important when it comes to the preparedness for the unthinkable.  We know that we live in a community that's not perfect, but the over all "fear factor" is minimal compared to what some might deal with in larger cities or in communities that have historic buildings or places that would be best to be made an example of in an attack.  However, we are not immune from the unthinkable in any place anymore.  Imagine a scenario that we have a dignitary coming in to town.  Maybe a President.  Head of a foreign state.  A Governor coming to speak or something where an opportunist would see the potential to make an attack.  In Michigan, we have the 51st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team who can be on site in 90 minutes if needed to assist, and today at Trinity Health Arena they were training, and we were honored to be invited to show you exactly what they do. 

Lieutenant Colonel Sara So is the Commander of the 51st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the Michigan National Guard based out of Fort Custer and she and her team of highly trained specialists spent today in Muskegon training for the absolute worst case scenario.  As the team is briefed, there's a dignitary in to speak and a suspicious item that has the ability to spray a chemical that has been found inside the Trinity Health Arena.  The clock begins to tick.  Within 90 minutes of discovery, the team is assembled and on site to assist local authorities in the analysis of what exactly is the device, what's in it that can cause harm and how can it best be disposed of in order to protect the public.  The clock is still ticking.  

Onsite, you are going to find highly trained specialists in any number of fields.  Along with them, every bit of state of the art equipment you can imagine that can tell you the make up of what's in any device from chemical to nuclear dangers.  There's an entire rig dedicated to medical should there be injuries.  There's a mind blowing communications rig that can close communications to within the team working on site in a secure fashion and extend to the public as needed to update on emergency messaging.  Tactical members to secure the area as well.  It's literally like stepping on to a movie set, but this is the real deal and the training is taken very seriously. 

We are honored today to be able to Speak to Lt. Col. So for a moment before we walk you through the first breach of the building right through the decontamination of the first two on deck to train today.  You will hear some fan noise outside, and some work inside the arena happening away from the training area.  This is condensed down slightly but there's nothing left out.  

We'd love to say that we live in a perfect world and there's never a reason to fear.  We all know however that no matter where we live today, you can't stop crazy and to show our support for those who put their lives on the line in a situation like this is an honor of the highest magnitude.  Thank you to Lt. Col. So as well as her team for giving us this opportunity to show you our military in action protecting all of us.  

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Photos courtesy of US Army