Full-Scale Exercise Helps Capital Region Prepare


In 2010, Hagerty was asked to team with Dewberry to support the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, National Capital Region (NCR) Tactical Exercise Series, which included two tabletop exercises (TTXs) and one full-scale exercise. The exercise series was designed to help the NCR prepare for attacks similar to those done in Mumbai, India and Beslan, Russia.


These exercises were designed to evaluate current plans for establishing interoperable communications, coordination, and response of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) resources from various jurisdictions within the NCR using the Incident Command System (ICS).


Working with Dewberry, the Hagerty team helped design and facilitate two TTXs. The first TTX was specifically designed for team leaders from SWAT and EOD, and included representatives from Fire and EMS. The exercise incorporated operational issues for dealing with multiple active shooters who used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and high powered rifles to take over a large educational facility. Major policy issues identified during this exercise were highlighted and incorporated into the second TTX, which was designed for all Police Chiefs and Fire Chiefs within the NCR. High ranking officials from various state and federal agencies also participated in the second exercise.

The full-scale exercise was designed to evaluate both the integration of SWAT and EOD teams and the coordination of a multi-agency response to a terrorist hostage situation. The scenario revolved around a multi-story building where terrorists had taken hostages and were holding them on various floors. Tactical teams had to coordinate entry into the building and on to each floor, deal with IEDs placed to restrict team movements and injure team members, and communicate with each other as well as tactical command in order to engage terrorists, rescue hostages, and evacuate casualties as quickly and safely as possible. The scenario also required tactical teams to coordinate emergency evacuation from higher floors with Fire and EMS since tactical team members and hostages were trapped by fires started by the terrorists.


The full-scale exercise was well-received and every participant learned a great deal from being involved in such a realistic scenario. Hagerty participated in the hotwash debrief and contributed to the After Action Reports provied after each exercise.