By Donald Murry, Directorate of Plans, Mobilization and Security; U.S. Army Garrison-HawaiiJuly 19, 2012
FORT SHAFTER FLATS, Hawaii -- U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii conducts its annual antiterrorism exercise, or ATEX "Ikaika 2012," here, and on Wheeler Army Airfield, July 19-20.
The exercise is a continuing effort to test, assess and validate emergency response plans and procedures against acts of terrorism.
During the exercise, community bulletins, operational bulletins and mass notification/giant voice systems will begin with "Exercise, Exercise, Exercise" and will announce general public information for all incidents that have occurred on post.
The system will initially state that everyone should remain indoors, stay off the roadways and await further instructions.
To alleviate confusion and anxiety, everyone is encouraged to follow instructions as the scenario unfolds; however, do not be alarmed or panic, as real-world announcements would not begin with "Exercise, Exercise, Exercise."
Several units and agencies, here, on Fort Shafter, Wheeler Army Airfield and Schofield Barracks will also participate in the exercise by practicing their shelter-in-place procedures and other antiterrorism plans. The USAG-HI Antiterrorism Office asks that these personnel on the installations respond to the announcement and shelter in the nearest facility.
Soldiers and family members are asked to take the exercise and its actions seriously.
Community members at Wheeler Army Airfield and Schofield Barracks are asked not to be alarmed if they see smoke on the airfield, as this will be part of the exercise.
Motorists should plan for additional travel time due to expected traffic congestion at Fort Shafter/Shafter Flats, 9 a.m.--noon, July 19, and Wheeler Army Airfield, between 8-10 a.m., July 20. Community members with appointments on Fort Shafter/Shafter Flats are encouraged to arrive early for their appointments, July 19.
Heightened security measures, including a temporarily increased elevation of force protection conditions, or FPCON, will take place here, at Fort Shafter and Wheeler Army Airfield during the exercise. USAG-HI's Directorate of Emergency Services asks for the community's patience at access control points.
Schofield Barracks and Tripler Army Medical Center will not be affected by the exercise.
Recent active shooter events, which have occurred on the mainland, highlight the real possibility of an event occurring on our installations. We must be prepared on what we would do and how we would respond.
The ATEX takes proactive measures to ensure the installation and its workforce are prepared in case of a real act of terrorism. The exercise also promotes situational awareness, safety and personal responsibility in preventing attacks.