Local

August 23, 2012

Fort to conduct installation protection exercise next week

Story by Natalie Lakosil
Staff Writer

Fort Huachuca will conduct its annual installation protection exercise Apache Warrior 12 on Tuesday and Wednesday. AW 12 is a full-scale exercise that tests real response actions by emergency first responders.

“The exercise will last for 30 continuous hours and will start on the morning of [August 28] … and will test the installation’s emergency response and recover plans,” said Stephen McCann, emergency manager, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.

“The exercise will span several operational periods to insure that procedures are in place to actually go through an event that could last a few days and stress our resources. This will validate our plans that ensure the safety of our most valuable resource, the people that work on Fort Huachuca,” McCann explained.

“We are required to exercise our protection program on an annual basis. This year’s AW 12, which will include all the garrison and partner organizations on the installation, will provide an environment to test response and recovery plans,” McCann said.

“We will try to minimize the interruption of the daily routines of the population on the installation. There will be signs posted leading to Fort Huachuca and other articles announcing the exercise,” McCann added.

Part of the exercise objective is to relocate some of the mission-essential functions that the installation is required to have in a 24-hour state-of-readiness. Those mission-essential functions will either actually relocate or will simulate relocation.

The agencies involved will vary throughout the exercise period. This year, it will include federal, county and city agencies in addition to the installation partners, garrison staff and public utility companies.

“The scenario will require law enforcement and fire department responding to the scenario and the activation of the Installation Crisis Action Team. Additionally, some units will incorporate their annual protection requirements into AW 12; this will provide an enhanced environment to test our procedures. Furthermore, our public utility provider will also incorporate some of its training requirements into AW 12. Lastly, we will have an opportunity to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and bring this event to a successful conclusion by starting the process of identifying what happened, why it happened and what steps can be taken to prevent it from happening again,” McCann said.

There may be short delays at the gates when the exercise begins, when the security level is first heightened. The plan, though, is to lift those restricted gate measures as quickly as possible to ensure that the base population is not overly inconvenienced, he explained.

There will be signs along the roadway announcing the exercise and to expect delays. People should allow for more time to get to work on those two days. The delays will be minimal, but planning needs to be taken into consideration, McCann added.

The exercise will be taking place in different areas of the installation throughout the two days. McCann stressed that those in an area where a planned training event is taking place should follow the instructions of law enforcement personnel. He explained that the public’s cooperation will be appreciated and will add realism to the training. “All exercise personnel will be easily recognized by the … vests worn by exercise safety and controller personnel,” McCann said.

“This year’s FSE is comprehensive and incorporates realistic training aids to ensure that a realistic, but safe, training environment is established for the agencies that are participating,” McCann added.

For more information, contact 533.0070 or stephen.mccann.civ@mail.mil.

 




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