NEWPORT NEWS -- The eleventh anniversary of 9-11 is coming up. Is the nation prepared for another attack or one that's even worse?
A massive exercise this week called Vibrant Response 13 will test military and civilian first responders to see how they'd react in the event of a domestic Weapons of Mass Destruction attack.
Under the fictitious scenario, a 10-kiloton nuclear device - a dirty bomb - will have been detonated over a major U.S. city. In the aftermath, there are 100,000 casualties and 200,000 displaced civilians.
Taking part in the ten-day effort are active duty military, National Guard and reserve units from across to country and Joint Task Force Civil Support at Fort Eustis. They'll be evaluated on how they handle aviation, medical, engineering, logistics and life-saving tasks under strenuous conditions while wearing protective clothing. At the same time, they'll have to provide timely public information and establish communications among the responding agencies at a time when the infrastructure has been destroyed.