By Elliott W. Ross, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and SecurityJuly 7, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Multiple directorates and agencies from U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii came together to conduct the annual antiterrorism exercise, “Rapid Response,” June 23-24.
This exercise was a continuing effort to test, assess and validate emergency response plans and procedures in response to an act of terrorism, as well as to test participants’ abilities to coordinate and communicate.
The ATEX took proactive measures to ensure the installation and the workforce are prepared to react in case of a real act of terrorism. It promoted the ideas of situational awareness, safety and personal responsibility in preventing attacks.
Armed with understanding, coordination and focus of multi-agency response, USAG-HI successfully used available resources to find and eliminate an active shooter during the exercise. USAG-HI used this active shooter exercise to test local medical personnel’s response to mass casualties, as well as the automatic law enforcement response.
During the scenario, a rapid response team moved in and quickly took out the shooter, while making sure victims were protected from further harm.
A liaison from the Schofield Barracks Health Clinic was sent to the garrison’s emergency operations center to coordinate communications with medical personnel, as is the case in any emergency medical response scenario.
The Federal Fire Department arrived on scene, here, and treated and evacuated mock victims from the incident site.
Emergency medical services, supported by the Federal Fire Department, provided medical response. They triaged and treated patients according to their injuries.
USAG-HI raised the force protection condition, locked down the installation and borrowed military manpower to conduct random vehicle inspections at all Schofield Barracks gates.
All agencies involved in the exercise satisfactorily demonstrated knowledge of emergency response plans and procedures, and they adequately implemented force protection measures.
In the event of an actual installation incident, such as an active shooter, USAG-HI’s mass notification system may be activated and will immediately alert residents of which actions to take.