Mainland agencies help to keep Hawaii’s water clear, blue, safe

| June 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

 

HONOLULU -- Civil support team members search the naval ship Tarawa for chemical, nuclear, biological and radiological substances during the sixth annual Kai Malu O'Hawaii training exercise, May 7. The different teams used specialized equipment to locate radiated sources throughout the ship. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs)

HONOLULU — Civil support team members search the naval ship Tarawa for chemical, nuclear, biological and radiological substances during the sixth annual Kai Malu O’Hawaii training exercise, May 7. The different teams used specialized equipment to locate radiated sources throughout the ship. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs)

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

HONOLULU — The sixth annual Kai Malu O’ Hawaii joint and interagency full-scale threat training exercise that took place at the Honolulu Airport and Bellows Air Station training areas, May 7-9.

Kai Malu O’ Hawaii, which translates into protected waters of Hawaii, is operated by civil support teams and first responders at the local, state and federal levels.

KOH tests first responders and CSTs’ responses to maritime, chemical, nuclear, biological, radiological attacks and disaster assistance by taking self-sustaining agencies and bringing them together under one command.

HONOLULU -- Leaders from the Singapore army's chemical division look at a source that admits a radiological signature during the sixth annual Kai Malu O'Hawaii training exercise, May 7. KOH is a joint forces and inter-agency exercise that brings civil support teams and first responders from the mainland, Guam and Hawaii. In this scenario, teams were 15 miles off-shore searching the vessel Tarawa for chemical, nuclear, biological, and radiological substances. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

HONOLULU — Leaders from the Singapore army’s chemical division look at a source that admits a radiological signature during the sixth annual Kai Malu O’Hawaii training exercise, May 7. KOH is a joint forces and inter-agency exercise that brings civil support teams and first responders from the mainland, Guam and Hawaii. In this scenario, teams were 15 miles off-shore searching the vessel Tarawa for chemical, nuclear, biological, and radiological substances. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

The 196th Infantry Brigade, U.S. Army-Pacific, assisted the Hawaii National Guard in coordinating the exercise.

“I think this is a great exercise,” said Paul Cruz, USARPAC CBRNE training specialist. “This exercise gives our armed forces, interagencies and state partners the opportunity to work through scenarios almost like they would in real-life but in a controlled environment. These training events help us to determine the assets everyone has. In the long run, we can plan accordingly to tragedies as they occur. No two disasters are alike.”

Roughly 500 people came together for the training exercise. The CSTs that participated in the exercise came from Hawaii, Guam, Utah, Nevada, California, Washington, Alaska and New Mexico.

Military services included the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard along with Hawaii’s National Guard. The Honolulu Harbor Police, fire and police departments, Hawaiian Airlines and Honolulu Airport management were also a part of the exercise.

State and federal agencies participating in the exercise included U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Civil Defense, the Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

During the 36-hour training exercise, CSTs conducted maritime, plane-boarding, mass casualty, intermediate medical aid and decontamination operations. The training provided an opportunity for the first responders to detect and respond to chemical weapons and agents in various environments while attending to the casualty role players.

Along with detecting the sources, the teams had to coordinate with the proper agencies to eliminate the sources, decontaminate equipment and people, and treat the wounded.

HONOLULU -- Civil support team members search the naval ship Tarawa for chemical, nuclear, biological and radiological substances during the sixth annual Kai Malu O'Hawaii training exercise, May 7. The teams used specialized equipment to locate radiated sources throughout the ship hull and darkness. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

HONOLULU — Civil support team members search the naval ship Tarawa for chemical, nuclear, biological and radiological substances during the sixth annual Kai Malu O’Hawaii training exercise, May 7. The teams used specialized equipment to locate radiated sources throughout the ship hull and darkness. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

“Kai Malu O’ Hawaii is one of the largest events we do each year,” said Ray Toves, USARPAC director for the weapons of mass destruction civil support team training. “It’s important to get all of these agencies together to train as one team. Jurisdiction alone changes from land to sea. Operating on a 10-story boat creates its own unique challenges opposed to being on land.”

The CST teams and first responders received valuable hands-on experience during the exercise, but they also received a secondary benefit from the training. The training provided face-to-face communication with joint services and interagencies.

“During a disaster, you don’t want to meet people for the first time,” said Maj. Aaron Blanchard, office in charge for the 93rd Civil Support Team, Hawaii National Guard. “Working hand-in-hand with our sister agencies during these training exercises help us to see what capabilities they have or what they may need. Plus, every agency and organization has their own way of conducting operations. However, when we come together, we operate as One Team using the same playbook.”

HONOLULU -- Sgt. Christopher Alessi, a survey team member with the 93rd Civil Support Team, checks for radiation in the air area during the Kai Malu O'Hawaii training exercise, May 7. During the 36-hour training exercise, CSTs and first responders searched for radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological threats on the Tarawa and at the Honolulu Airport. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

HONOLULU — Sgt. Christopher Alessi, a survey team member with the 93rd Civil Support Team, checks for radiation in the air area during the Kai Malu O’Hawaii training exercise, May 7. During the 36-hour training exercise, CSTs and first responders searched for radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological threats on the Tarawa and at the Honolulu Airport. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

As the annual training continues and the CSTs become more proficient, they will be able to stay true to the exercise’s name and continue to keep Hawaii’s waters safe.

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Category: Exercises, News, Safety

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