USAG-HI to host realistic ATEX scenarios on post

| June 17, 2011 | 0 Comments

Elliott W. Ross
Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

Community participation, patience, understanding is vital to success

iWatch

iWatch

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii will conduct its annual antiterrorism exercise, or ATEX, “Rapid Response 2011,” on Sills Field, here, June 23-24.

This exercise is a continuing effort to test, assess and validate emergency response plans and procedures to an act of terrorism.

The mass notification/giant voice system will begin with “exercise, exercise, exercise” and will announce general public information and all incidents that have occurred on post.

The system will initially state that everyone should remain indoors, stay off the roads 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. Real-world announcements would not begin with “exercise, exercise, exercise.”

Soldiers and civilians may also receive email updates with “exercise, exercise, exercise.”

All Schofield Barracks gates will close around 10:30 a.m., June 23, for about 10 minutes. Motorists should plan for additional travel time, due to expected traffic congestion.

Community members with appointments on post, like at the Schofield Barracks Health Clinic, are encouraged to either arrive very early for their appointment or postpone appointments occurring from 10-11 a.m., June 23.

Heightened security measures, including a temporarily increased elevation of force protection conditions, will also take place at all gates, here, throughout the exercise. USAG-HI’s Directorate of Emergency Services asks for the community’s patience at the entry control points.

Garrison response forces will implement baseline antiterrorism physical security measures, as well as random antiterrorism measures throughout the exercise.

Soldiers, families and civilians need to take this exercise and its actions seriously.

The ATEX takes proactive measures to ensure the installation and the workforce are prepared to react in case of a real act of terrorism. The ATEX also promotes the idea of situational awareness, safety and personal responsibility in preventing attacks.

Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI, asks for the community’s patience and understanding, as the garrison conducts this important exercise that will enhance USAG-HI’s ability to protect its most valuable assets and resources: the Soldiers, families and civilians of USAG-HI.

While the ATEX scenarios may inconvenience community members temporarily, the positive outweigh the negatives, with Soldiers, civilians and families learning what to do and how to react instinctively in a man-made disaster.

Part of the intent of this year’s exercise is to demonstrate the ability to execute an aggressive antiterrorism program that protects USAG-HI personnel, families, facilities and material resources against a terrorist attack.

Antiterrorism is a defensive action intended to reduce the chance of an attack using terrorist tactics at specific points, or to reduce the vulnerability of possible targets to such tactics.

When properly employed, these defensive measures reduce the vulnerability of individuals and property to terrorist acts. Defensive measures include USAG-HI’s military and civilian forces’ response and containment of a situation.

Every individual has a personal responsibility to employ force protection and antiterrorism countermeasures daily.

For the duration of the ATEX, there will be an increased visibility of first responders, such as law enforcement, federal firefighters and health clinic personnel. They will be responding to assist Soldiers, who are acting as victims, spectators and witnesses.

ATEX

For more information about the ATEX, call 656-5397 or 656-0152.

In case of an actual emergency situation on post, information would be posted at the following sites:

Information would also be provided to Island Palm Communities for further distribution on its websites and to its community resident managers for mass email notification to on-post families.

iWatch deters community threats

iWatch Army is a modern, online version of the Neighborhood Watch program.

It’s focused on the threat of terrorist activity and is designed to heighten public awareness about the indicators of terrorist activity.

Upon sighting, community members are encouraged to report suspicious behaviors or activities to the military police or local law enforcement agencies, so they can further investigate.

iWatch is important because the entire Army community is an extension of our overall protection, especially when members are empowered to help protect against terrorism.

Members of the Army community, both on and off military installations, may have information that could reveal a missing piece of a puzzle. When this information is reported to authorities, it could help thwart a terrorist plot.

Antiterrorism Tips

The threat of terrorists attacking our Army communities is real. Terrorists can strike anytime and anywhere.

Antiterrorism is the defensive measure used to reduce the vulnerability of individuals, information and facilities to terrorist acts. The following tips can help thwart terrorism.

  • Maintain situational awareness of your surroundings at all times. Report suspicious activity or behavior to local authorities.
  • Protect your personal information at all times. Do not reveal details of your personal life, such as where you live and work, your association with the military and your email address or phone numbers to anyone you don’t know and trust.
  • Do not discuss personal information or military missions in public, on the telephone or on the Internet.
  • Take extra precaution using social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Avoid posting or providing personal information.
  • Make sure your home’s doors and windows are always locked.
  • Participate in a Neighborhood Watch program to establish a shared responsibility for the safety and security of your local community.
  • Be prepared for an emergency that may require your family to “shelter-in-place” or relocate on short notice. Make a family emergency plan and ensure all family members understand what to do in each of these scenarios.
  • Know the emergency evacuation procedures for the place where you work.
  • Know the bomb threat procedures and how to report threats to local law enforcement or security authorities.
  • Understand what to do in an “active shooter” threat scenario.
  • Know the locations of safe havens and carry emergency telephone numbers.
  • Avoid civil disturbances or demonstrations of any kind. These events can turn violent with little to no advanced warning.
  • Never travel alone; always travel in groups of two or more. Think ahead and choose safe travel modes and routes.

(Editor’s Note: Information was compiled from iWatch and Army news releases.) 

 

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Category: Exercises, News, Safety

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