This story was reported and written by KNOM reporter Ava White
The Alaska National Guard’s 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction team arrived in Western Alaska, June 12 to conduct training.
After Typhoon Merbok, the Alaska National Guard announced they were in the process of stationing a full-time aircraft and air crew in Nome.
Lieutenant Ryan Curry says the training will prepare the crew for disasters if one is to occur.
“The crew consists of 22 members,” Curry said. “This training is different than regular training because of the locations. This training focuses on having the right equipment for each scenario to better serve the public.”
The crew arrived in a C-17 Globemaster III military airlift jet.
Training in Nome was conducted at the Alaska Army National Guard aviation facility for a 24-hour period before continuing to Kotzebue. Training is expected to end no later than June 14.
Curry adds that this will be a long-term benefit for the area, as an air crew has not been stationed in over two years.
Community members may have observed service members in hazardous material response suits and equipment as part of the training’s realistic scenarios.
Image at top: A C-17 Globemaster III sits on the tarmac in Nome. Photo by Ava White/KNOM