By Carlos Correa

STOCKTON (CBS13) – From natural disasters to terror attacks, several first responders gathered at the Port of Stockton for an intense exercise focused on public safety on Tuesday.

The training put 100 men and women in uniform to the test.

It can happen anywhere and in any community. A natural disaster, an industrial accident or even a terror attack. They are emergencies that bring multi-agencies together.

“We hope nothing ever occurs like that, but if it does we want to be prepared,” said Chief Eric Jones, Stockton Police Department.

Stockton police officers, Stockton firefighters, deputies with the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office along with FBI agents, the Coast Guard and the Port of Stockton police are participating in a tactical exercise involving weapons of mass destruction.

“Training exercises like this are so critical to have better coordination, communication and go over our tactical plans because should something happen. We need to be prepared on how to approach it, how to respond to it,” said Jones.

In this scenario, a waterborne tactical insertion is taking place on a cargo ship. First responders are working in teams to assess the situation and integrate a workable response.

“We have 22 full-time responders on our team, they are active guard reserves and they all specialist meaning they have trained in biological chemical radiological and nuclear type training,” said Lt. Col. Keith Haviland, U.S. Army.

The exercise helps develop strong communication skills to secure a location while saving people’s lives. Most members of the National Guard’s 95th civil support team who led the training hold up 30,000 hours of specialized training.

“You could have all the specialty training in your back pocket, but it doesn’t matter unless you have the inner agency cooperation because it’s at the inner agency level that things get done. People get the job done and the mission gets accomplished,” he said.

These brave men and women train regularly. For some, it was the first time participating in a large size exercise like this.

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