National Nuclear Security Administration

Wolverine Thunder: NNSA and FBI conduct WMD counterterrorism training at the University of Michigan

April 17, 2017

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NNSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation co-sponsored a WMD counterterrorism exercise in March at the University of Michigan which drew 112 emergency responders and law enforcement officials from Ann Arbor and the surrounding area. The exercise challenged participants to refine strategies and techniques for radiological security and incident response.

The Wolverine Thunder training is part of a series of exercises designed to develop a comprehensive understanding of the roles and responsibilities involved in preventing and responding to a domestic terrorist-related radiological or nuclear incident. “The strong participation we saw in Wolverine Thunder demonstrated the impressive professional commitment of all participants to continuously improving radiological incident response capabilities” said Jay Tilden, NNSA’s deputy undersecretary for counterterrorism and counterproliferation.

With a focus on teamwork and communication, the exercise challenged local city, state, and federal agency partners to develop coordinated plans of action in case of theft or deliberate misuse of radiological materials. During the post-exercise discussion, the majority of participants were very impressed with the depth and magnitude of local, state, and federal resources available during a radiological incident. Participants also discussed re-examining and improving upon their own processes, procedures, and policies to prevent and respond to such an incident.