Magazine article National Defense

Simulation Tests Homeland Defense Efforts

Magazine article National Defense

Simulation Tests Homeland Defense Efforts

Article excerpt

A homeland defense exercise to test U.S. Northern Command's ability to respond multiple, simultaneous contingencies demonstrated that the command is ready to handle military operations inside the United States, officials said.

The exercise, called Determined Promise '03, proved the need to build relationships between various responding agencies, as well as federal, state and local governments, said a NORTHCOM official.

In a press statement, Air Force Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, NORTHCOM commander, said he will "certify through the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the secretary of defense, that Northern Command is ready for what we call full operational capability."

The week-long multi-agency exercise, held in Clark County, Nev., simulated a category-three hurricane in Florida, wildfires in the Northwest, a munitions-train derailment in Kentucky, a plague outbreak in Las Vegas, an air threat over Alaska and the interception of a shipment of biological weapons bound for a U.S. port.

More than 2,000 personnel took part in the exercise, including 1,500 from the Defense Department, said Lt. Gen. Ed Anderson, deputy commander of NORTHCOM. Organizations as diverse as the Defense Intelligence Agency, the American Red Cross, the American Association of Railroads, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the store of Nevada took part, said Anderson, at the sixth annual Space and Missile Defense conference in Huntsville, Ala. National Guard troops from Nevada, Rhode Island and Alabama, as well as 28 military units, also participated. …

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