If the U.S. Northern Command needs troops to respond to a national emergency, commanders now have 4,000 Soldiers on alert to answer the call, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
The Colorado Springs Gazette says, Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, was created after the 9/11 attacks, to coordinate military responses to everything from hurricanes to nuclear attacks. It has until now relied primarily on part-time National Guard troops.
But soon a full combat brigade will be on alert, ready to roll out nationwide.
The Soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia, have been training to back up civilian authorities in providing medical care and dealing with chemical, biologic, high explosive or nuclear attack.
They'll be assigned to Northern Command for the next year as a fire brigade, and will be replaced by another Army brigade in 2009.
Even without its own brigade, Northern Command hasn’t been on the sidelines in disasters. From wildfires in California to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, commanders at Peterson have delivered military help.
But with the new unit, commanders know they have forces that are properly trained for the challenges of disaster relief.
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