Central peninsula agencies plan drills with Army, Air Force

Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2004

Central Kenai Peninsula residents will see a higher than normal level of activity from emergency responders this week as public service agencies practice for responding to possible disasters.

Working with the combined Army and Air Force National Guard 103rd Civil Support Team, police and fire agencies will simulate a response to a disaster at the Soldotna Sports Center on Monday, a disaster at the former Chevron bulk plant on Bridge Access Road in Kenai on Tuesday and at Agrium in Nikiski on Wednesday.

According to Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp, people will see extra activity, but it will not be in the form of helicopters overhead, Army truck convoys or people patrolling in camouflage outfits.

The drills are designed to test the readiness of communities' disaster response plans and evaluate responses to weapons of mass destruction disasters and other incidents that might cause chemical spills or large-scale chemical leaks.

The drills are to begin at 9 a.m. each day and last until about 4 p.m., Kopp said.

Personnel from the 22-member 103rd Civil Support Team, which is based in Anchorage, will meet with local responders for a briefing at Central Emergency Services in Soldotna at 1 p.m. today.

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