Fort Polk holds full-scale exercise over biological agents - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fort Polk holds full-scale exercise over biological agents

Fort Polk (Source:  KPLC) Fort Polk (Source: KPLC)
FORT POLK, LA (KPLC) -

If Southwest Louisiana were hit by chemical agents, would our military be prepared?

Each year, Fort Polk holds full-scale exercises to test how they, local, and state agencies would respond in emergency situations.

"We take real-world events that take place not only in military bases, but across the globe," says Colonel Jarrett Thomas II, the Garrison Commander at Fort Polk. "We learn from those events, put them in a scenario to make it as real as possible and we make decisions based on those events and make it more localized to our area."

The annual exercise isn't limited to just one topic; they have covered active shooter training, natural disasters, a train derailment, and more. This year they rehearsed responding to a biological agent.

To make the exercise more realistic, fake emails were sent out detailing a scenario in which two men would have on to Fort Polk property saying they were with pest control, but would have thrown aerosol canisters containing a biological agent before fleeing. The chemicals in the air would have begun affecting residents in the surrounding area.

Fort Polk set up several treatment facilities across the property and the Office of Public Health provided simulated medication. The on-base hospital also got involved.

Those who live outside of the base role-played as those infected with a biological agent.

Brigadier General Patrick D. Frank, JRTC and Fort Polk Commanding General, says that getting the community involved in the exercise helps prepare everyone in a worst-case scenario. 

"When we bring in our civilian partners, that gives them the same level of training and interaction with this installation across each of the different incidents."

"This is an opportunity to get some lessons learned," Colonel Thomas II says. "Even with great organizations, there is always room to improve."

What is learned from today's exercise at Fort Polk will also be shared with other military bases around the United States in an effort to ensure that every base and the surrounding area remain as safe as possible.

Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Aging infrastructure big issue for those who manage drinking and wastewater systems in Louisiana

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 9:00 PM EDT2018-07-18 01:00:11 GMT
    There are few things more critical to our health and well being than good clean water. And that's why members of the Louisiana Rural Water Association meget for a conference in Lake Charles each year. Clean, healthy drinking water is one of the things most people in Louisiana take for granted.  But Leslie Durham found out first hand what it's like to have bad water... "I'm actually from St. Joseph so I've had to live with bad water for about ten years and my home actuall...More >>
    There are few things more critical to our health and well being than good clean water. And that's why members of the Louisiana Rural Water Association meget for a conference in Lake Charles each year. Clean, healthy drinking water is one of the things most people in Louisiana take for granted.  But Leslie Durham found out first hand what it's like to have bad water... "I'm actually from St. Joseph so I've had to live with bad water for about ten years and my home actuall...More >>
  • Breaking

    BPSO: DeRidder man arrested for second-degree murder

    BPSO: DeRidder man arrested for second-degree murder

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 8:33 PM EDT2018-07-18 00:33:28 GMT
    Antoine Porter (Source: BPSO)Antoine Porter (Source: BPSO)

    BPSO found a deceased person in a bedroom in a residence.

    More >>

    BPSO found a deceased person in a bedroom in a residence.

    More >>
  • City officials announce new parks initiative: Partners in Parks

    City officials announce new parks initiative: Partners in Parks

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 5:31 PM EDT2018-07-17 21:31:57 GMT
    "Partners and Parks" is aimed to revitalize parks in SWLA. (Source: KPLC)"Partners and Parks" is aimed to revitalize parks in SWLA. (Source: KPLC)
    "Partners and Parks" is aimed to revitalize parks in SWLA. (Source: KPLC)"Partners and Parks" is aimed to revitalize parks in SWLA. (Source: KPLC)

    Hunter revealed the poster during a news conference in front of a crowd of children, sponsors, councilmen, board members, organizations and more. The goal is to transform parks and green spaces throughout the city of Lake Charles. 

    More >>

    Hunter revealed the poster during a news conference in front of a crowd of children, sponsors, councilmen, board members, organizations and more. The goal is to transform parks and green spaces throughout the city of Lake Charles. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly