Chemical warfare training exercise takes place at USM

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM)-  If a chemical attack happens in Mississippi, the state is prepared due to the National Guard Civil Support Team. They were in Hattiesburg Thursday undergoing a training exercise at Southern Miss.

The scenario of the training exercise was the discovery of mock mustard gas production taking place in a USM dormitory. That substance can be deadly and cause both external and internal blisters.

The Mississippi Civil Support Team was charged with identify the agent, taking samples and alerting local authorities about the situation.

A separate group from U.S. Army North in San Antonio, Texas was evaluating the Civil Support Team to help them prepare for a graded exercise in October. Dave Yandon is a Survey Analyst with that organization.

Yandon explained, "The civil support teams are outfitted with equipment that is far beyond local haz mat team capabilities. They literally have millions of dollars worth of technology at their disposal. And they can in fact monitor the air literally down to parts per trillion."

The Mississippi Civil Support Team is the only unit in the state that specializes in hazardous material calls.

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