DNWS prepares more nuclear response courses

Master Sgt. Lucas Avery, Defense Nuclear Weapons School instructor at Kirtland, demonstrates techniques in radiological detection to members of the Texas Army National Guard and area first responders Feb. 2 in Round Rock, Texas. Avery is a member of the mobile training team that traveled to Texas to teach the DNWS Introduction to Radiological and Nuclear Incident Response course.

Master Sgt. Lucas Avery, Defense Nuclear Weapons School instructor at Kirtland, demonstrates techniques in radiological detection to members of the Texas Army National Guard and area first responders Feb. 2 in Round Rock, Texas. Avery is a member of the mobile training team that traveled to Texas to teach the DNWS Introduction to Radiological and Nuclear Incident Response course.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The threat of a radiological or nuclear attack exists everywhere.

That’s why the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Defense Nuclear Weapons School-Reserve Component at Kirtland Air Force Base emphasizes the Introduction to Radiological and Nuclear Incident Response (IRNIR) course and teaches it to audiences worldwide.

“Responders need to know how to deal with it,” said Maj. Michael G. Schlueter, instructor. “To have this awareness training means you are that much more prepared. Any accident or incident can pose a potential radiological threat.”

The course will soon be offered three times at Camp Murray, Washington: March 18-19, 20-21, and 22-23.

“IRNIR is a two-day awareness-level course developed to increase confidence and skill in responding to and mitigating the consequences of radiological events, as well as weapons of mass destruction,” Schlueter said.

The Washington National Guard Homeland Response Force is sponsoring the training, which will be held daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Washington Army National Guard in Building 92 at Camp Murray.

“We are excited to facilitate this training, not only for soldiers and Airmen of the HRF, but the larger community as a whole,” said Col. Michael Weitzel, commander of the 10th HRF, Washington Army National Guard. “Threats take many forms, and in preparing to respond, we must stay current on emerging issues and factors which could impact our ability to provide critical life-safety support.”

The Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Training Education Division have approved the course for inclusion in their state- and federal-sponsored course catalog. It is also accredited by the American Council on Education as a continuing education course.

“It is primarily for all U.S. military, federal, tribal, state and local emergency planners, managers and responders,” Schlueter said. “Camp Murray is a great venue because of the large population, and the number of military and emergency responders in the area.”

DTRA-RC brings the IRNIR course to Washington to provide various agencies an opportunity to better prepare themselves and their communities. It is not the first time DTRA-RC has taught in Washington.

“It’s getting harder to find places we haven’t been,” Schlueter said. “In fact, this will be our fourth visit to the state in almost six years.

“Our Reserve mobile training teams are already slated this year to teach more than 1,000 first responders, military and executives all over the country,” he said.

DTRA-RC is the Department of Defense’s go-to organization for this type of awareness training worldwide.

Mobile training teams are available. For those who want to attend the course at the Defense Nuclear Weapons School at Kirtland, remaining course dates this fiscal year are March 2-3, June 1-2 and Sept. 7-8.

The course and materials are free to registered participants.

For more information and to register, call the IRNIR course manager at 846-0663 or 846-0664.