Testing doors, faculty lockdown procedures
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Jerri Daniels, left, provost sergeant at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux - Brussels, checks the door handles of classrooms at Brussels American School. Two teams each comprised of military police Soldiers, local host nation law enforcement, working dogs and evaluators combed the hallways of Brussels American School during an emergency response exercise Feb. 16, 2022 at Sterrebeek Annex in Zaventem, Belgium. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Bryan Gatchell) VIEW ORIGINAL
Briefing
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Denard Honeysuckle, right background, provost marshal at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux - Brussels, briefs both U.S. and Belgian personnel before a lockdown. Two teams each comprised of military police Soldiers, local host nation law enforcement, working dogs and evaluators combed the hallways of Brussels American School during an emergency response exercise Feb. 16, 2022 at Sterrebeek Annex in Zaventem, Belgium. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Bryan Gatchell) VIEW ORIGINAL
Big team on campus
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – From left, Maj. Denard Honeysuckle, provost marshal at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux - Brussels; Tom Nollens, inspector with the Zaventem police department; and Collette Tate, principal of Brussels American School, walk between buildings on the BAS campus. Two teams each comprised of military police Soldiers, local host nation law enforcement, working dogs and evaluators combed the hallways of Brussels American School during an emergency response exercise Feb. 16, 2022 at Sterrebeek Annex in Zaventem, Belgium. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Bryan Gatchell) VIEW ORIGINAL
Working dog
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Two teams each comprised of military police Soldiers, local host nation law enforcement, working dogs and evaluators combed the hallways of Brussels American School during an emergency response exercise Feb. 16, 2022 at Sterrebeek Annex in Zaventem, Belgium. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Bryan Gatchell) VIEW ORIGINAL

ZAVENTEM, Belgium – Two teams each comprised of military police Soldiers, local host nation law enforcement, working dogs and evaluators combed the hallways of Brussels American School during an emergency response exercise Feb. 16 at Sterrebeek Annex in Zaventem, Belgium.

The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate how personnel from U.S. Army Garrison Benelux, the school and local law enforcement would respond in the event of an active shooter at the school.

Once the call was made as part of the exercise, teachers throughout the school closed and locked classroom doors, the military police Soldiers called in to the Sterrebeek Annex gate guards to shut and lock the gates, the other facilities at the annex closed and locked down, and military police Soldiers from USAG Benelux – Brussels arrived at the annex as soon as they received the call.

Within the schools, evaluators from DoDEA, walked with the military police Soldiers, one of whom brought a military working dog from Chièvres Air Base. Local law enforcement also brought one of their working dogs. The teams walked through the hallway, tested classroom doors to ensure their teachers had locked them, peered in as best they could to ensure students and faculty were out of sight, and even called out false all-clears (both in English and French) to see whether an active shooter could cozen a faculty member to open a classroom to them.

Once the real all-clear was given across campus, school life resumed, and the emergency response group went about their after-action review.

Here the work shifted from practice to discussion, parsing the risks of keeping master keys in different locations, which drill procedures would best prepare faculty, whether the new school facilities will require an alteration to procedure and more.

Letting off steam
Torro, a military police working dog, attacks the padded arm of Master Sgt. Christopher Olver, operations sergeant, following a emergency response exercise. Two teams each comprised of military police Soldiers, local host nation law enforcement, working dogs and evaluators combed the hallways of Brussels American School during an emergency response exercise Feb. 16, 2022 at Sterrebeek Annex in Zaventem, Belgium. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Bryan Gatchell) VIEW ORIGINAL

Maj. Denard Honeysuckle, the provost marshal at USAG Benelux – Brussels, felt the training was important as it helped elucidate certain questions:

“How do we interoperate with each other to secure the faculty and the students at BAS?” asked Honeysuckle. “And really, how do we facilitate the Belgians securing our schools?”

Tom Nollens, a detective with the Zaventem police department, was one of the local host nation law enforcement representatives on hand during the exercise and the discussion afterwards. He described the exercise as an opportunity to find “pain points” where host nation and garrison procedures are not fully aligned.

“There’s always been a good cooperation between us,” said Nollens. “We have our procedures, Major Honeysuckle has his procedures. But we talk to each other and we try to find a way. And for me that works very well.

“Practice keeps people sharp and points out weaknesses if there are weaknesses in a certain way of reacting,” Nollens continued. “(But) we share a common goal, and that is to protect the people.”