Joint Maritime Anti-Terror Exercise Planned

Monday, April 26, 2004
The Coast Guard and its state and local law enforcement and transportation partners have scheduled an exercise April 26-27 at the Woods Hole Steamship Authority ferry terminal to provide hands-on training for those who would be the first responders to any terrorism related incident on a ferry.

The exercise will help familiarize first responder teams with the unique operational challenges aboard a ferry, as well as acquaint ferry crews and staff with law enforcement procedures during a terrorism incident. It will also be a dynamic opportunity for response teams from various agencies to interact and coordinate response protocols, and give agencies a chance to document lessons learned and areas for improvement.

The first day of the exercise on April 26 will mainly consist of training in a classroom environment, followed by a tour of the ferry Islander to familiarize response teams with internal space arrangements and vessel systems aboard the ferry. The Steamship Authority staff and crew will explain and demonstrate electrical and communications systems and fire suppression.

During the second day, on April 27, response teams will conduct an actual drill aboard the ferry from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in which response teams will respond to various terrorism scenarios.

Ferry transits and schedules will not be affected.

"This exercise provides a great opportunity to practice and hone our disaster plans," stated Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Acting Director Cristine McCombs. "This event, which includes the many assets available to this unique Region of the Commonwealth, demonstrates how well the federal, state and local partners plan and work together."

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