In three major cities this past weekend, the United States military held training for simulated hypersonic missile attacks, according to Military Times.
Hundreds of military members as well as local, state and federal emergency workers, participated in the drills – which simulated missile attacks on New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago.
The simulation was supposed to be what the Pentagon called “America’s worst day,” a response to a hypothetical missile strike that “collapsed Lincoln Financial Field structures” in Philadelphia and “derailed a train at the CSX railyard, which triggered a chlorine leak that’s spreading fast.”
The simulated missile strike included the response to “unknown contaminants” which would have spread throughout the cities following the strikes.
Those involved, including the Michigan Army National Guard members were equipped with “nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological detection and decontamination” equipment.
Participants wore fake wounds and were also displaying fake symptoms, in order to allow emergency responders to get to practice their techniques.
As Military Times reported, “the scenario might have seemed too real for comfort,” for the “thousands of Philadelphians who saw military helicopters flying low through the city and watercraft speeding along the Delaware River.”
Army National Guard Col. Chris McKinney, TF 46 Chief of Staff said, “This is an opportunity to train firsthand with some of the best first responders in the world who do this day in and day out.”
State Guards from Alabama, California, New York, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee were also in attendance and the U.S Army North, the Coast Guard and the Army Reserve also took part.
Drills were also carried out in city subways, to test underground communication and Guard members responded to “strike zones” – simulating Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Detection which included role play and the testing of materials.
Search and rescue drills were also covered, as well as landing zones and stations to evacuate those caught in the crossfire – civilian groups worked with military personnel to simulate the operation of mass decontamination sites.
Others taking part in the drill “worked in mock rubble to rescue trapped role players as they would in major building collapses from such a missile attack.”
The military exercises came only days before House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was due to depart for her trip to Asia, which included a stop in Taiwan – much to the displeasure of China.
In response to Pelosi traveling to Taipei, China began their own military exercises, including live fire in the South China Sea and also released footage of a hypersonic missile test being carried out.
Some speculated that it was a message to Pelosi to not go through with the visit to the island nation.
Pelosi was undeterred and met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen during her visit which ended Wednesday, saying “Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” adding, “America’s determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad.”