Dozens of local, state, and federal agencies have begun conducting "a major radiological incident exercise" in Austin, Texas.
The Cobalt Magnet 22 exercise is led by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration in partnership with the Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, bringing 30 agencies together in a field training exercise to combat threats of radiological attacks
Reminder: This week, @NNSANews radiological incident response personnel, with Austin HSEM and other federal, state and local partners, will participate in Cobalt Magnet, a large consequence management field training exercise. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/P3BD8Ei1UN— Austin Emergency Management (@AustinHSEM) May 16, 2022
Austin Emergency Management tweeted the exercise will take place in various locations around the metro area this week. "You may see people in protective clothing using equipment and/or low-flying aircraft," the local agency said, adding "It's just an exercise."
Cobalt Magnet 22 will take place at various locations around Austin this week. You may see people in protective clothing using equipment and/or low-flying aircraft. Remember: It’s just an exercise! (2/2)— Austin Emergency Management (@AustinHSEM) May 16, 2022
The exercise is considered regular training and will help scientists and technical experts with radiological monitoring and assessment. It began on Monday and will last through Friday.
"The City of Austin is pleased to welcome NNSA and the numerous local, state and federal agencies participating in Cobalt Magnet.
"Our goal in this exercise is to test our procedures and make improvements to ensure we're keeping the Austin/Travis County community protected," Juan Ortiz, Director of Austin's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, told Austonia.
So the bigger question ... WHY is the government preparing for a dirty bomb or radiological dispersal device attack on a city now?