|EAST POINT, Ga. (335th Signal Command (Theater)) —
Wisconsin and Fort McCoy were part of the June Red Dragon Exercise, a
Homeland Defense scenario designed to test responses, including
decontamination procedures, in the event of a biological disaster, such
as a terrorist attack. The exercise ran from June 2-13.
U.S. Army Soldiers of the 485th
Chemical Battalion assist a mock casualty on a body board during
Red Dragon. Victims who were unable to walk were secured to body
boards and guided through the decontamination tent during the
exercise at Meadowview Intermediate School in Sparta, Wis.
by Spc. Corinna Jenkins)
Red Dragon is an annual chemical, biological, radiological,
nuclear-driven exercise. The scenarios were developed in coordination
with local first responders and authorities as well as civilian medical
In the Fort McCoy area, several units used Fort McCoy as their
staging/training grounds. Units went through a “crawl/walk “phase at the
installation before responding to the off-site locations for the “run”
Soldiers at Fort McCoy trained on using the BIDS, biological integrated
detection systems, which gives participants the ability to detect and
analyze the presence of threatening contaminants in the air.
One of the areas the Soldiers deployed to from Fort McCoy was the Sparta
Meadowview Intermediate School. While on site, Soldiers assisted local
personnel in responding to the various scenarios.
The 335th Signal Command (Theater) was the lead organization in Red
Dragon. To fight terrorists on the technological battlefield, the Army
uses signal Soldiers to create and defend communication networks in the
time of war and for homeland defense. The 335th coordinated setting up a
nationwide communications network to tie together exercises taking place
in Augusta and Forest Park, Ga.; Talledega and Pell City, Ala.; Fountain
Inn, S.C.; Arlington Heights and Lake Forest, Ill., and Fort McCoy and
several communities in Wisconsin.
To make it as real-world as possible, the Army’s 1st Information Command
was tasked to hack into the network and test its security. This is
necessary because exercise officials said it replicates in-theater
conditions, and many people believe they can use their cell phones or
personal computers to communicate during emergencies.
Past emergencies, such as 9/11 or Katrina, however, have shown this not
The existing commercial infrastructure in 9-11 and Katrina was either
overwhelmed or destroyed, so other means of communications are
(Information in this story is from the 335th Signal Command (Theater)
Public Affairs Office and exercise Public Affairs support staff.)