WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Members of the Joint Force Headquarters -- National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington practiced emergency response tactics during a field training exercise at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, May 13-15, 2019.

The annual joint training exercise ensures readiness between military and civilian crisis response teams, foster cooperation and collectively share best practices to improve existing and future training, policy, and standard operating procedures. Services members from MDW's Special Response Team (SRT), along with Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents, train continually to respond to high-risk law enforcement situations in the region.

The SRT is comprised of civilian and military police officers from Fort Belvoir Directorate of Emergency Services, the 289th Military Police (MP) Company, along with Military Working Dog assets from the 947th MP Detachment and the 55th Explosive Ordinance Company at Fort Myer, Virginia, to provide no-notice incident and crisis response readiness as the first responders.

"Annual joint training is paramount in ensuring each of our all hazard specialties maintain no-notice 24/7 response to incidents and crisis within the MDW area of responsibility, whether it be through crisis/hostage negotiations, high risk tactical team entry, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Render Safe Procedure, or canine explosive/drug detection and police tactics," said John Lease, JFHQ-NCR SRT program manager.

The goal of the exercise is to evaluate joint operations throughout an emergency from the initial first response, to possible de-escalation of the emergency, fact-finding through investigation, and final analysis.

The FTX was conducted in five phases. Phase one was to conduct a notional law enforcement and first responder response, which is usually performed by the on-duty law enforcement. Phase two included CID Crisis Negotiation Training, establishing negotiations with subject(s) for hostage release, prevention of pre-suicidal threats or barricaded individuals. Phase three, the SRT performed tactical team operations to include high-risk vehicle and structural entry. Phase four involved EOD and canine tactics. Lastly, phase five, encompassed specialized crime scene investigations that included evidence collective, preservation, documentation, analysis, and witness interviews to ensure successful prosecution.

"All skills are perishable and our communities and constituents are counting on us to get it right," said Lease. "Conducting these exercises are paramount and ensures were not compartmentalized while instilling confidence in our leaders, subordinates and communities that we-stand-ready to ensure life, safety and security of our service members, their families and communities."