Homeland Security exercise at Port today

A collection of 24 federal, state and county entities will participate today in a series of simulated disasters and mock terrorist attacks designed to challenge agency participants’ technical and communication skills and ability to coordinate an effective joint response. The exercise will incorporate procedures mandated by the National Incident Management System.

Funded by Congress through the Asymmetric Warfare Initiative (AWI), the full-scale exercise is the second of its kind to be conducted in the Puget Sound region. The first exercise took place in October 2004.

Today’s exercise will involve an unusual amount of emergency response movement and related activities in the Port area, and will includes Dr. David Banks, Director, Center for Asymmetric Warfare (CAW), Ramon Ortiz, Director of Security, Port of Tacoma, and Peter McLaughlin, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The CAW is a national center dedicated to protecting U.S. forces, citizens, and property against asymmetric threats. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a CAW partner and operates the CAW Northwest Regional Office on its behalf. The Port of Tacoma is the host site for the full-scale AWI exercise and the location for the control center for exercise operations.