Fort Bragg Soldiers Prepare For Domestic Nuclear Disaster Emergency

Fort Bragg Troops Told To Prepare For Domestic Nuclear Disaster Emergency

Soldiers who train to respond to domestic emergencies are flexing their muscles from Fort Bragg to just south of Jacksonville, Florida, over the next week as part of a training exercise meant to test the response of units from across the nation.

The unannounced exercise was supposed to be a surprise for most of the troops involved, who will travel by convoy to Florida for a related training event.

Col. Jayson C. Gilberti, who is leading a task force that includes soldiers from Fort Bragg, Georgia and Texas, said it was important for the soldiers to be prepared to work together in a complex environment and to be mentally prepared to help their suffering countrymen if needed.

“You can never be ready enough,” said Gilberti, who commands the 20th Engineer Brigade at Fort Bragg. “It’s about Americans helping Americans at the end of the day. We’re one team.”

In all, nearly 750 soldiers are participating in the emergency deployment readiness exercise, or EDRE. The exercise is aimed at honing the skills of the Defense CBRNE Reactionary Force, or DCRF, which is tasked with responding to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive emergencies anywhere in the United States.

Most of the soldiers will come from the 20th Engineer Brigade. Others are from medical, signal and CBRNE units.

The Fort Bragg forces will convoy south on Interstate 95 for about 400 miles. They will be joined along the way by troops from Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas.

Their destination is Camp Blanding, Florida, south of Jacksonville, where they will conduct several days of training meant to mimic the aftermath of a devastating earthquake.