Missouri’s Elite Team is Tested
By Maj. Barb Denny, 139th Public Affairs
/ Published April 27, 2009
4 April, 2009 -- Missouri's highly specialized team of soldiers and airmen trained to handle any type of emergency has received federal validation March 18th in Columbia, Missouri.
The team, called CERFP, or chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high yield explosives response force package, has a flexible design and can be tailor-made for any contingency.
"The intent for a CERFP is to have the capability for the governor that encompasses search and extraction, decontamination, medical, and a command and control element, " said Colonel John Akers, the CERFP commander. A total of 186 airmen and soldiers met for the validation exercise.
"If it were a natural disaster and they didn't need a decontamination element, they can just pick the medical element and we can respond individually," explained Capt. Kim Smith, CERFP medical operations officer. "As the medical section, we bring nurses and doctors and ten medics capable of going into a hot zone to render first aid during search and extraction." During the exercise the medical portion of the team was able to set up and be operational in 33 minutes.
"It is important to have a team ready to go at any sign of disaster or need that is beyond the response capabilities of the local first responders," said Brigadier General Stephen Danner, Missouri National Guard commander. "We want to make sure we're there, able to assist civilian authorities because that is what our job is as the Missouri National Guard."