<b>FORT STEWART, Ga. </b>- The airwaves of radio and television are buzzing with the news of an attack at the installation...casualties...fatalities...sounds of sirens break the normally natural outdoor sounds...

Though it was only simulated, military and civilians joined forces for the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield annual Stewart Guardian Exercise, Jan. 26-28.

During the exercise, local area agencies in Hinesville and Savannah pooled their expertise with like military and civilian counterparts of firemen, policemen and medical personnel. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and local Homeland Security Office were also a part of the mixture of personnel and hardware.

All came together to thwart a simulated domestic plot by a former Soldier and his cohorts. The exercise took place within the cantonment areas of Stewart-Hunter, which included the airfield at Hunter and Wright Army Airfield at Stewart.

Minimal traffic delays were experienced due to advance notices sent out weeks in advance of the simulation; everyone understood the nature of what was happening and was prepared.

John Stanley, a trusted agent for the exercise, but also a management analyst within the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, said the exercise had been in preparation for six months.

"Tabletop exercises were held with all the facets involved to bring us to this actual event," he said. "The community involvement was a great benefit because it allowed them to also get their annual evaluations completed by some of the graders and evaluators observing the exercise."

Though the main "destruction" occurred Jan. 27, the actual exercise started weeks earlier with simulated incidents at the Savannah Railroad Station, unauthorized information gathering from a local restaurant, and stolen weapons, license plates and burglaries.

Though there are no Emmy's or Oscar's to give away for their performance, many of the "casualties" were quite convincing with their moans, screams, blood-soaked garments, and facial body disfigurements.

Private First Class Djuan Reed and Spc. Brandon Burton, both of 24th Ordnance Company, looked and sounded realistic as victims of the "disgruntled" Soldier Chaka Santos, who is really a DPTMS electrical worker.

Evaluation of the exercise included members of Science Applications International Corporation, which is headquartered out of Tysons Corner, Va.

SAIC evaluators were looking for the objectives desired by the installation, which included but were not limited to validating a force protection plan; promoting military-civilian partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies; evaluating crisis management teams along with first responders; threat attacks on army information systems; and medical mass casualties.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16