Tropical exposure puts CBR specialists through paces

Chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) specialists from the US, UK, Canada and Australia have this week tested their response to a number of possible terrorism scenarios in a six-day exercise called Tropical Exposure.

This capability exercise is held every two years under the auspices of the Quadrilateral Group on CBR Counter-Terrorism, comprising the four countries.

This year’s six-day exercise is being jointly hosted by the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services at the Whyte Island training facility in Brisbane.

The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton today visited the exercise, commending the participants, including 150 Australians from Commonwealth and state and territory agencies, for their involvement.

“While the kind of threats being simulated at Tropical Exposure are unlikely, we need to be prepared for all possibilities,” Mr Dutton said.

“The response to CBR threats requires highly specialised capabilities that are regularly rehearsed, and this exercise provides a valuable opportunity to do just that, alongside experts from the US, the UK, and Canada.”

The exercise brings together military and law enforcement personnel, explosives technicians, forensic experts, fire and ambulance services, scientists and other experts.

“Our financial support for this exercise complements our broader investment in counter-terrorism exercises, which are critical to optimising our efforts to prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorism,” Mr Dutton said.

The forensic capability at the exercise includes two of five mobile forensic vans supplied in 2018 to Queensland, Tasmania, the ACT, WA and SA. The vans are part of the Australian Government’s investment in Counter-Terrorism capability through the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee Special Fund.

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