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Homeland Security

DHS Helps Plan, Execute Nuclear Forensics Exercise

Release Date: 
April 6, 2012

Nuclear forensics supports nuclear attribution - the identification of those involved with a planned or actual attack using radiological or nuclear weapons or materials. In February 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO)'s National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center (NTNFC) assisted in planning and executing Trinity Oak, an exercise testing the readiness of the National Technical Nuclear Forensics (NTNF) Ground Collection Task Force (GCTF). The exercise was conducted at Fort Gordon, Ga. and simulated a potential terrorist attack using an improvised nuclear device.

In the event of a nuclear detonation, the GCTF would play a crucial role by collecting vital evidence at the incident site for nuclear forensics analysis. The GCTF must be ready to perform at all times without notice.

GCTF members from the Army's 20th Support Command (CBRNE), Air Force Technical Applications Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Energy (DOE) participated in Trinity Oak. The NTNF GCTF is part of the unique, multiagency U.S. Government NTNF program that includes the Department of State and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in addition to DHS, DOE, FBI, and DoD.

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