Saturday, April 18, 2015

Northern Exposure (National Guard Exercise)

---No National Guard personnel were interviewed for this posting.  These are all imaginings from my fevered brain.---

The blog-o-sphere is crackling with information regarding the extraordinary (presumably) exercises being done by the National Guard.  Most of the pixels are burned on an exercise dubbed "Jade Helm".  Little discussion is about the local, Michigan exercise, "Northern  Exposure".

Northern Exposure will be held in Michigan during the month of June.  It will exercise the National Guard's ability to deal with Fukushima Daiichi type containment vessel breach event.  Ancillary challenges that are somewhat similar to nuclear power plant breaches include dirty bombs, biological warfare attacks and on a much smaller scale, chemical weapons.

Southern Michigan is a region that is vulnerable to nuclear breach risk because of the high density of nuclear power plants that are "up-wind" and its population density.  Lessons learned by the National Guard can be communicated and implemented anywhere.

The location of nuclear power plants in the mid-West.
The "transport vector".  Under typical conditions, a mechanic's fart in O'Hare International Airport takes 24-to-30 hours to reach Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

Population density chart.


Don't expect any help from the Illinois National Guard.  They will be pinned down with body-bag detail.  Chicago is toast due to lack of lead time. 

Fleeing north is not a good option if you live in southern Michigan.  It is, however, a good option if you live in Madison, Wisconsin especially if you go northwest.

Heading south one must go as far as Cincinnati before they are not "down wind".

"Shelter in place" is probably the best option for most people while the magnitude is assessed.

Everybody west of Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties (Detroit metro area) will be on their own.  I don't expect to see National Guard knocking on doors in zipcode 48827.

I don't know what the National Guard sees as their role.  Perhaps distributing information and iodine tablets or providone-iodine saturated pads to swab inner arms.  Also, train-the-trainer exercises.

They might also have a role in maintaining civil order.  You KNOW that there will be morons who will see an "in-house-shelter-in-place" order as a license to loot.

They might have a role in keeping critical infrastructure running....water and sewage and cell phone towers, for instance.

This might get interesting.


  1. The Guard normally fills in for infrastructure support and maintenance of law and order, but ONLY when 'nationalized' by the President. These drills are normally on a 2-3 year cycle, depending on what other training the Guard does (They have a 2 week ACDUTRA requirement per year, usually one of those is at a major training base).

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