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A rescue specialists for USA-1 repels while using a jackhammer to rescue a victim from the scene of a mock disaster area during a training exercise at the Guardian Center in Perry
REFILE - CORRECTING DATE A rescue specialists for USA-1 repels while using a jackhammer to rescue a victim from the scene of a mock disaster area during a training exercise at the Guardian Center in Perry, Georgia, March 25, 2014. A week of field training, the first of its kind at the 830-acre training site, to be open to the media, began Monday with the arrival of USA-1 from Fairfax, Virginia along with its sister team in Los Angeles, California. USA-1 has been deployed by the U.S. Agency for International Development to 30 foreign disasters, including earthquakes in Haiti, Armenia and Iran, the tsunami in Japan and the typhoon in the Philippines. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST SOCIETY HEALTH DISASTER)

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At Cold War missile factory, elite rescuers drill for disaster

Yahoo News
March 26, 2014

On a cloudless, windswept Georgia morning 100 miles south of Atlanta, a rescuer dangled 30 feet in the air, secured by rappelling ropes, wielding a jackhammer, as he drove the drill into a massive concrete slab designed to mimic the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. It took about an hour to punch a hole big enough to reach mock disaster "victims" trapped between the slab and an exterior wall.

Nearby more rescuers stood by a replica of an apartment building damaged during the 2010 Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake. Dogs sniffed for victims. Engineers built make-shift ladders with two-by-fours.

The large-scale disaster drill, unfolding this week in rural Georgia, is being staged at a 830-acre (335-hectare) training site that was a missile factory during the Cold War. The campus, known as The Guardian Centers, is nestled between a grove of pecan trees and a rural stretch of interstate and is designed to meet the growing needs of disaster rescue, police and military teams. (Reuters)

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