Missouri Guardsmen prepare for disasters

71 Missouri Army and Air National Guardsmen from units across the state are sharpening their skills this week.

The troops are holding a Weapons of Mass Destruction exercise at the Boone County Fire Department TMs Training Facility.

Members of the Missouri National Guard TMs Weapons of Mass Destruction Response Force practiced a scenario where they saved victims of a collapsed building, decontaminated people to protect them from disease and treated victims for injuries, before sending them to a hospital.

Missouri National Guard Staff Sergeant Joseph Coyle said, Our mission is to help out good people when bad things happen. It could be a terrorist incident, a natural disaster or any kind of a tornado. We can do rescues for that as well.

It TMs up to the Governor to call the brave soldiers into action. During their drills, Guard Members always set up a mock command and control tent that functions just like a real one.

Missouri National Guard Sergeant John Williams said, It lets the troops and the soldiers get practice on that specific skill set. Each position has an administrative and personnel side of it.

Missouri National Guard Soldiers involved with the exercise normally practice at facilities at Fort Leonard Wood. They said the rubble at the Boone County Fire Department TMs Training Facility is a nice change of pace.

Troops use a pile of concrete rubble to help them practice search and rescue missions. Specialist Brandon McCue from Osage Beach said the exercise could help him save someone TMs life.

McCue said, We TMre just learning how to tie a proper knot and get the people out of the rubble safely.

McCue hopes he never has to face a real terrorist emergency, but if does, he TMs always ready and always there.

Missouri Guard Soldiers spend 2 weeks out of their year at training exercises.