MCLB learns from terror drill on base - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MCLB learns from terror drill on base

Updated:
MCLB personnel arrest 'terrorists' in a training drill in February (by Jason M. Webb) MCLB personnel arrest 'terrorists' in a training drill in February (by Jason M. Webb)

By Jason M. Webb, MCLB Public
Affairs Specialist - in Conjunction with WALB

Albany, GA -  The main gate of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany was closed recently, as the Marine Corps Police Department hunted for two 'terrorists' on the move through the base, and eventually found them hiding in an abandoned home in the old base housing area.

Although this was a pre-planned exercise, the base emergency services and police department treated the scenario with quickness and authenticity.

"There are multiple individuals aboard MCLB Albany with weapons opening fire. Move indoors to an interior room and shelter in place. Lock and blockade doors and cover and avoid windows. Emergency services are responding," read the first of many messages sent out as an all-hands e-mail notification to begin the exercise.

 The exercise planners, a team of role-players from Headquarters Marine Corps Exercise Support Team in Quantico, VA., were sent down to test emergency response plans, policies and procedures.

For base personnel, the exercise was to enable key departments, commands, agencies or entities to demonstrate a multiagency response to an all hazards/ terrorist event. It was also designed to evaluate the overall decision making process for a response operation, with the focus on the Emergency Operations Center.

According to Pedro Correa, deputy exercise support, Headquarters Marine Corps Exercise Support Team, base personnel performed at a level that most bases would envy.

"I've seen this base improve greatly from where it was last year," he said. "The implementation of better protection at the front gates has improved from last year, and the overall unity and speed of the EOC is very impressive. It was a great job by everyone."

As terrorist events unfolded at various areas on the base, police responded with quickness to quell the violence. Within a few minutes of the initial shooting at the Marine Corps Exchange the police had surrounded the two shooters in an abandoned house in the old base housing area.

Three hours later the police had the shooters giving up without force. They had successfully negotiated a peaceful ending to a potentially bad situation.

"I think it (the exercise) went very well.You always learn positive reinforcement in training, said Sean Lamonzs, deputy police chief, Marine Corps Police Department, Public Safety Division, MCLB Albany. "Ultimately, communication worked well and the tactical aspect worked well. It was a win-win situation."

"The EOC operation was noteworthy in that we utilized Web EOC for the first time during an antiterrorism exercise on the installation," said Bill McNulty, manager, EOC/Anti-terrorism Officer, MCLB Albany.