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Brazil’s Military Prepares to Fight Biological, Chemical, Nuclear Attacks during 2016 Rio Olympics

Brazil’s Military Prepares to Fight Biological, Chemical, Nuclear Attacks during 2016 Rio Olympics

By Dialogo
January 27, 2015





Like its country’s best athletes, Brazil’s Armed Forces are busy preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5-21.

In addition to training for athletic competitions, the Military is getting ready to deal with any biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear attack or accident that might occur during the competition.

The different branches of the Armed Forces – the Army, Air Force, and Navy – are working together in the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (CBRND) system during the Olympics.

Armed Forces authorities are engaged in detailed planning that will help the Military conduct reconnaissance, gather intelligence, identify threats, prevent attacks, and reduce damages from any assaults, according to Major Luiz Carlos Lott Guimarães, chief of the CBRND Section of the Army’s Land Operations Command (Coter), headquartered in Brasília.

The Brazilian Military activated the joint CBRND system to provide security during the World Military Games in 2011, and again for the World Cup in 2014.

However, the Army’s CBRND section, which has a training center is located in Rio’s Realengo neighborhood, consists of two Military units: one Battalion with 409 Troops, located in Rio, and one Company with 100 Soldiers, located in GoiâniaThe Center is used to train Brazilian Military members, as well as Armed Forces officers from other countries.

Brazilian Military prepares for an unprecedented challenge


The task of guarding against unconventional attacks involving biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear weapons during the Olympic Games is a bigger challenge than any the Armed Faces have previously faced.

“People think the Olympics are like another World Cup, but they aren’t. The Olympics are several World Cups,” Maj. Guimarães added. “Brazil traditionally has not been a focal point [for terrorist attacks], but we cannot eliminate any risk.”

Recent terrorist attacks, such as the assault by two gunmen against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo
on January 7, have raised the Brazilian Military’s alert level, even though the Rio Olympics are more than a year away.

“The environment is one of reducing violence,” Maj. Guimarães said. “We did have a terrorist attack during the Munich Olympics in 1972.” He was referring to the terrorist attack by the Palestinian group Black September which killed 11 Israeli athletes and one German police officer. German police killed five of the eight Black September attackers and captured the three survivors.

Brazil’s CBRND preparations began following a four-day conference in early December in Brasília, where members of the Brazilian Military met with Armed Forces officials from the United Kingdom. British Military authorities shared their experiences providing security for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The importance of technology


Technology is a crucial part of the effort to prevent a dirty bomb attack, other types of unconventional assaults, and damaging accidents involving the release of dangerous substances into the environment.

As part of the preventive effort, the Brazilian Army will use three mobile laboratories, which will house samples of dangerous substances and their antidotes. The Army already has one of the labs, which was used during the 2014 World Cup.

The other two labs are being purchased from a private company in the United States, at a total cost of $1.8 million. These labs will be transported to Brazil and also deployed in Rio.

The Air Force prepares for the Rio Olympics


While the Army will oversee the use of the mobile labs, the Air Force is preparing to transport victims of unconventional attacks or accidents at event locations. The Air Force is creating specialized teams, under the direction of the Aerospace Medical Institute (IMAE), which is located in Rio de Janeiro, on the Air Force University (Unifa) campus.

“With the arrival of these large events, the Ministry of Defense has identified a need for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) to be prepared as well,” explained First Lieutenant, Paulo Pires Jr., medical doctor and assistant chief of the IMAE Operational Health Subdivision.

Six CBRND physicians, two nurses, and 11 nursing assistants are assigned to the IMAE. By the end of 2015, their ranks will be buttressed by an additional 30 medical personnel.

Military authorities have conducted two training courses for doctors, nurses, and nurses assistants since 2013, and are planning to provide two more by the end of 2015.

Each training session lasts five days, with lessons conducted eight hours a day. About 30 medical personnel will participate in each training session, during which they will wear special protective clothing as they go through drills on how to detect chemical and biological agents and decontaminate people who have been exposed to harmful substances.

“The exercises will involve the entire chain of action, from contact from the incident site to the final mission, which is the transportation of the victim after decontamination,” according to 1st. Lt. Pires Jr. “We are going to train exhaustively to mitigate the risk.”

Surveillance will focus on Rio


While Military personnel are preparing to respond to any location, Rio de Janeiro will be the primary focus of CBRND surveillance. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has divided the locations for the sports competitions into four clusters: Barra, Deodoro, Copacabana, and Maracanã.

Using devices which detect chemical, biological, and nuclear material, the Army will monitor three areas and the Navy one, Copacabana. For the soccer stadiums located outside these areas, the Army’s CBRND section will monitor São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Brasília from a distance, while the Navy will do the same for Salvador.

“In the event of an accident or an attack, time is of the essence to minimize collateral damage,” Maj. Guimarães said.

The first step would be to isolate the area. Next, specialized CBRND teams would conduct reconnaissance in the contaminated area, which would help Military medical officials determine what they need to do to minimize the harm.

“We use detectors that function with ions and can access a vast library to identify chemical, radiological, and nuclear agents. The substances are identified at the mobile laboratory,” Maj. Guimarães said.

In the event of an attack or an accident, victims would initially be treated in the contaminated area.

“The team responsible for taking the injured from the hot zone (where the incident occurred) to the hospital is the Ministry of Health team,” Maj. Guimarães said. “Air transport will be handled by the Air Force.”

Under the Military’s plan, doctors, nurses, radiologists, and support personnel will work in shifts during the duration of the Olympics.

The Army plans on training civilians in the Identification of Terrorist Threats Protocol. During the 2014 World Cup, officials and support teams from the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) received this training, as were employees of federal government agencies.




Like its country’s best athletes, Brazil’s Armed Forces are busy preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5-21.

In addition to training for athletic competitions, the Military is getting ready to deal with any biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear attack or accident that might occur during the competition.

The different branches of the Armed Forces – the Army, Air Force, and Navy – are working together in the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (CBRND) system during the Olympics.

Armed Forces authorities are engaged in detailed planning that will help the Military conduct reconnaissance, gather intelligence, identify threats, prevent attacks, and reduce damages from any assaults, according to Major Luiz Carlos Lott Guimarães, chief of the CBRND Section of the Army’s Land Operations Command (Coter), headquartered in Brasília.

The Brazilian Military activated the joint CBRND system to provide security during the World Military Games in 2011, and again for the World Cup in 2014.

However, the Army’s CBRND section, which has a training center is located in Rio’s Realengo neighborhood, consists of two Military units: one Battalion with 409 Troops, located in Rio, and one Company with 100 Soldiers, located in GoiâniaThe Center is used to train Brazilian Military members, as well as Armed Forces officers from other countries.

Brazilian Military prepares for an unprecedented challenge


The task of guarding against unconventional attacks involving biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear weapons during the Olympic Games is a bigger challenge than any the Armed Faces have previously faced.

“People think the Olympics are like another World Cup, but they aren’t. The Olympics are several World Cups,” Maj. Guimarães added. “Brazil traditionally has not been a focal point [for terrorist attacks], but we cannot eliminate any risk.”

Recent terrorist attacks, such as the assault by two gunmen against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo
on January 7, have raised the Brazilian Military’s alert level, even though the Rio Olympics are more than a year away.

“The environment is one of reducing violence,” Maj. Guimarães said. “We did have a terrorist attack during the Munich Olympics in 1972.” He was referring to the terrorist attack by the Palestinian group Black September which killed 11 Israeli athletes and one German police officer. German police killed five of the eight Black September attackers and captured the three survivors.

Brazil’s CBRND preparations began following a four-day conference in early December in Brasília, where members of the Brazilian Military met with Armed Forces officials from the United Kingdom. British Military authorities shared their experiences providing security for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The importance of technology


Technology is a crucial part of the effort to prevent a dirty bomb attack, other types of unconventional assaults, and damaging accidents involving the release of dangerous substances into the environment.

As part of the preventive effort, the Brazilian Army will use three mobile laboratories, which will house samples of dangerous substances and their antidotes. The Army already has one of the labs, which was used during the 2014 World Cup.

The other two labs are being purchased from a private company in the United States, at a total cost of $1.8 million. These labs will be transported to Brazil and also deployed in Rio.

The Air Force prepares for the Rio Olympics


While the Army will oversee the use of the mobile labs, the Air Force is preparing to transport victims of unconventional attacks or accidents at event locations. The Air Force is creating specialized teams, under the direction of the Aerospace Medical Institute (IMAE), which is located in Rio de Janeiro, on the Air Force University (Unifa) campus.

“With the arrival of these large events, the Ministry of Defense has identified a need for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) to be prepared as well,” explained First Lieutenant, Paulo Pires Jr., medical doctor and assistant chief of the IMAE Operational Health Subdivision.

Six CBRND physicians, two nurses, and 11 nursing assistants are assigned to the IMAE. By the end of 2015, their ranks will be buttressed by an additional 30 medical personnel.

Military authorities have conducted two training courses for doctors, nurses, and nurses assistants since 2013, and are planning to provide two more by the end of 2015.

Each training session lasts five days, with lessons conducted eight hours a day. About 30 medical personnel will participate in each training session, during which they will wear special protective clothing as they go through drills on how to detect chemical and biological agents and decontaminate people who have been exposed to harmful substances.

“The exercises will involve the entire chain of action, from contact from the incident site to the final mission, which is the transportation of the victim after decontamination,” according to 1st. Lt. Pires Jr. “We are going to train exhaustively to mitigate the risk.”

Surveillance will focus on Rio


While Military personnel are preparing to respond to any location, Rio de Janeiro will be the primary focus of CBRND surveillance. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has divided the locations for the sports competitions into four clusters: Barra, Deodoro, Copacabana, and Maracanã.

Using devices which detect chemical, biological, and nuclear material, the Army will monitor three areas and the Navy one, Copacabana. For the soccer stadiums located outside these areas, the Army’s CBRND section will monitor São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Brasília from a distance, while the Navy will do the same for Salvador.

“In the event of an accident or an attack, time is of the essence to minimize collateral damage,” Maj. Guimarães said.

The first step would be to isolate the area. Next, specialized CBRND teams would conduct reconnaissance in the contaminated area, which would help Military medical officials determine what they need to do to minimize the harm.

“We use detectors that function with ions and can access a vast library to identify chemical, radiological, and nuclear agents. The substances are identified at the mobile laboratory,” Maj. Guimarães said.

In the event of an attack or an accident, victims would initially be treated in the contaminated area.

“The team responsible for taking the injured from the hot zone (where the incident occurred) to the hospital is the Ministry of Health team,” Maj. Guimarães said. “Air transport will be handled by the Air Force.”

Under the Military’s plan, doctors, nurses, radiologists, and support personnel will work in shifts during the duration of the Olympics.

The Army plans on training civilians in the Identification of Terrorist Threats Protocol. During the 2014 World Cup, officials and support teams from the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) received this training, as were employees of federal government agencies.
Great! Great! Great! My sister went missing in 2012. I want to find her more than anything. I think it's great to give all possible support. The Armed Forces are held in high esteem by the Brazilian people. I am so proud to love and admire them. I'd like to keep getting news about Paulo Lopes. I hope they teach Paraguayan peers that in Paraguay speaking about biological or chemical weapons is taboo. My goodness, that is something else. I liked it. It was very practical. Great I look forward to a military intervention authorized by the Constitution! What's being done to Brazil and the Holy Scripture is very disrespectful to the Armed Forces and the nation. I request with the utmost respect that you take an oath to die for your country. I have always been proud of the Armed Forces and still am. I would like the Brazilian Army to free Brazil of the corrupt officials destroying our homeland. I hope the comments don't get censured. I sincerely admire and am very proud of my country's armed forces. The greatest enemies of Brazil are the corrupt politicians. I think it's best to fight them. I will never get information from this network again. Great. The government has to invest more in the Armed Forces of Brazil.
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