ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The lessons of 9-11 have not been forgotten at the nation's military bases. The Marine Corps Logistics Base held an annual anti-terrorism exercise Thursday morning, drilling on what they would do in case of an armed attack on the employees there.
The MCLB exercise tried for realism. The scenario, three armed terrorists jumped the base fence, attacked a lab building and took hostages.
"It's realistic as it can be in a simulated environment," MCLB Police Chief Randy Jack said.
A smoke bomb went off among fire trucks and people yelling for help. First responders rushed to the scene. Several people were injured or dead. Police surrounded the area. Firefighters came forward to help the victims to cover.
"It enables us to assimilate all the elements of the first responders. The Police, the fire, and EMT's. And to assess how we would respond in a real life situation," Jack said.
As this exercise wound down, supervisors seemed generally pleased.
"The teamwork, addressing the priorities in the proper order, that was all. They were hitting the marks and I was very impressed with that," MCLB Fire Chief Jack Colby said.
But they also saw areas they could improve on. This anti-terrorism exercise lasted most of the day. The next phase, rescuing hostages led away by the terrorists. Preparing in case of a real attack someday.
"This is a military installation, a Marine Corps Base. The potential always exists. It exists everywhere unfortunately. It is just a fact of life in this day and time," Colby said.
And that is why the Marine Base first responders hold these drills.
Normal work went on for most of the Marine Base employees, but following heightened security levels that would be called for in an emergency.