BRUNSSUM, Netherlands – The “giant voice” broadcast system announced “EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE” to the community Jan. 29 at the Brunssum Site of U.S. Army Garrison Benelux in the Netherlands.The alert was the result of a coordinated, planned training event, engaging key stakeholders at the garrison, which included U.S. Army military police; host nation partner Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Koninklijke Marachaussee or KMar), a military police force that falls under the Dutch Ministry of Defense; U.S. Army emergency management personnel; and U.S. Army Postal Service personnel.The exercise began when Tony Allen, postal operations supervisor, discovered two suspicious parcels upon arrival at the facility. Following standard operating procedures, Allen moved quickly to raise the alarm and notify the garrison’s military police (MPs). MPs mobilized and evaluating the situation, they cordoned off the area, safely redirected traffic and engaged allied partner KMar for further threat assessment.Services and access to the area were temporarily impacted as a result of the joint training event.“While the training may present a minor inconvenience to the community at the time, the purpose is to make an event as realistic as possible for the benefit of all participants,” said Staff Sgt. Sergio Lopez, provost sergeant at the Brunssum Site. “Not only are we exercising our capabilities and our communications with host nations, the postal service is also exercising their (standard operating procedures) and their processes, so everyone benefits from the experience.”“The exercise participants need to know what they’re doing and what procedures to follow in case of a true event,” said John Hopper, USAG Benelux emergency manager. “These exercises help us to learn, evaluate and improve our responses.”The training event concluded within a few hours, following a simulated engagement with the bomb squad (Explosieven Opruimingsdienst Defensie or EOD) and a full after-action debrief among participants.Safety and security is essential in supporting the garrison’s multi-national, geographically dispersed community. Events like these further build upon relationships with Allied partners.“We are evaluating our Soldiers and the communication with KMar,” said Maj. Matthew Sperber, provost marshal at the Brunssum Site. “We need to know how to communicate with one another, in case of a real-world incident.”2021 will see a series of training exercises conducted, further strengthening the garrison’s readiness in support of a “Strong Europe” where in the words of Lopez, “Communication is key in everything we do.”