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NEWS | Oct. 31, 2014

U.S. Army Garrison - Okinawa Conducts Anti-Terrorism Exercise

By Mr. Richard Rzepka

U.S. Army Garrison - Okinawa conducted an anti-terrorism and emergency response exercise Oct. 16 -21, as various on-post agencies responded to several notional scenarios ranging from an active shooter to a fuel spill response.

The annual event, which was designed to help evaluate the installation's first responders and support organizations' emergency response procedures, also enhanced and strengthened the garrison's capabilities in response to a full spectrum of emergency situations.

"Key tasks included intelligence dissemination, reaction to surveillance, transition through Force Protection Condition [FPCON] levels, response to an active shooter, Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device, cyber threat and fuel spill containment," said Billy Ullmark, Operations Specialist Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.

Several Soldiers role played as casualties during the scenarios, which involved the Torii Station Fire Department, Provost Marshall Office, the Emergency Operations Center and other garrison organizations, as well as other local fire departments and first responders from Yomitan Village.

"A live exercise like this is an optimal training environment for all of the various agencies involved, including our partners in the local community," said Lt. Col. Eric A. Martinez, Garrison Commander. "The importance of conducting this type of training is to not only prove our proficiency, but to demonstrate our capacity and capability in being able to keep our Soldiers, Families, Civilians and the community writ large safe," he said.

The exercise was evaluated by five personnel from U.S. Army Japan at Camp Zama who praised the garrison's performance while offering advice on best practices during an after action review as the exercise concluded.

"The U.S. Army Garrison - Okinawa team fully recognizes that the protection, well-being and safety of all Soldiers, civilians and Families are a priority," said Martinez. "We will continue to improve our capabilities and develop relationships … If a situation does happen, we will be ready."
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