DENVER — Don't worry, World War III hasn't broken out, but readiness drills for such an event will take place in Colorado throughout the week.
The Colorado National Guard 8th Civil Support Team — Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) will help by hosting a large interstate, interagency training exercise with civil authorities on Wednesday and Thursday in the Denver metro area.
Timing for the event is conveniently unfolding 100 years after the third battle of Ypres during World War I, when mustard gas was used as a means of chemical warfare in the trenches. Thus, the exercises have been named Operation Ypres.
Based out of Buckley Air Force Base, the 8th Civil Support Team — WMD continuously prepares for the use of weapons that could create mass casualties, like chemical and nuclear weapons. The team doesn't just train, though, they would respond to any such event.
"The Colorado National Guard Civil Support team defends our nation 24/7/365," the Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mike Loh said. "Our interagency partners help make training realistic. It's so important that we train as we operate, which often includes support from nearby states and always includes partners from local, state, and sometimes federal, agencies."
According to authorities, drills and training will unfold between Wednesday and Thursday at locations in the Denver metro area like the Community College of Aurora, the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden and the Longmont Fire Department training facility.
Onlookers who see the emergency-style activity could also see members from the California National Guard, New Mexico National Guard, Utah National Guard, Arizona National Guard, the FBI and other local agencies.