Massachusetts State Police, the US Coast Guard, Massachusetts National Guard, local police and fire departments, and federal public safety officials all participated in the largest homeland security training exercise ever conducted in the state last week.
The training exercise is designed to test the procedures and processes of these agencies by stressing them with large-scale disaster and domestic threat scenarios. The times, locations and type of emergency or threat were not disclosed to the public to keep the integrity of the exercise. The responders were forced to react as they would in a real-life situation, with no prior notice. The training exercise ended on Friday, Nov. 9.
“This type of stress test is what we need to be prepared to support government and private entities during a real-world disaster,” said Col. Margaret White, director of military support, Massachusetts National Guard. “I am confident that this exercise will make us collectively stronger, more focused and more effective than ever before.”
White said the training is designed to test first responders’ ability to assess and respond to complex and dynamic situations. The scenarios were as realistic as possible but pose no risk to the general public. Private sector partners, including Gillette Stadium and Boston Harbor Cruises, also participated in the training.
“The citizens of Massachusetts depend on state and federal agencies to work together to prevent, protect, respond and recover from disasters,” Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard, said.