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MCLB stays vigilant

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 December 6, 2007

Albany -- Is the Marine Corps Logistics Base prepared if terrorists tried to attack? The base tested its defenses by simulating an anti-terrorism training exercise. With the help of community responders, they found out just how vulnerable they might be.  

It started with simulated intelligence that a stolen government van may be on its way to MCLB. A van appeared at the front gate for an anti-terrorism exercise, and was soon through the front gate and on the base. 01:48:07

"Terrorism is unpredictable, this gives us a chance to analyze our capabilities as first responders, to work fluidly with the medical folks as well, and the bottom line is security for the installation is paramount," said Marine Corps Police Master Sergeant Sean Lamonzs. 

 The base's security was soon put at risk, when the simulated terrorist van exploded and released an unknown gas.  "It could happen any place any time, chemicals and biologicals are the easiest things to produce to cause a mass casualty," said John Lee, CBRNE Protection Officer at MCLB.

During the exercise picnickers nearby are overwhelmed, prompting help from community EMS.  "They're probably suiting up the HazMat team in their protective suits and they will come on here, and with their dection equipment, they will detect what kind of chemical it was," said Lee.

Additional support from the 4th Civil Support Team out of Dobbins Air Force Base is called in to determine what the substance is.  Nick "They'll be able to identify the sample and give answers quickly to the medical community so they can start making preparations for treatment," said 4th CST Operations Officer Lt. Nick Agle. 

It can happen in an instant, today it's just a drill, but Tuesday there was a real emergency, a standoff with a civilian employee with a gun.  "We really came together the other day during the real crisis situation, so this is just going to be another step in the right direction," said Lamonzs.

The drill allowed the base to look at security at entry control points, analysis of their frist responders and how they set up crime scene security and how they mitigate situations like these.

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