Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cape May, New Jersey: Full scale anti-terror exercise planned Tuesday

CAPE MAY – To quote the novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:” Don’t panic.

Several dozen law enforcement, emergency management and military organizations are preparing for the first full-scale, antiterrorism exercise at the Coast Guard training center in Cape May starting Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

The drill will replicate a suicide bomb attack at the training center.

Visitors and neighbors will likely see emergency vehicle and hear sirens and announcements, and even the yells of those portraying victims in the simulated attack. The Coast Guard wants to warn the public about the exercise in advance.

The Coast Guard has joined with more than a dozen local, state and federal law enforcement and emergency management agencies to test their response to a simulated suicide bomber attacking the facility. The drill presumes the attack injuring dozens of recruits and staff.

More than 41,000 people visit Coast Guard Training Center Cape May each year, and federal, state and local law enforcement and EMS officials want to ensure the community is ready to respond in the event of terrorist attack at the facility, according to a statement from the Coast Guard.

Numerous military, law enforcement and EMS personnel will be participating in the exercise and will encompass much of Training Center Cape May and several blocks in the neighborhoods adjacent to the facility.

“Residents may see numerous police and EMS vehicles staged for the exercise in area neighborhoods,” reads the release.

The exercise players, including victims, police and EMS personnel will respond as if this were an actual attack.

The recruit dining area on Training Center Cape May, which sits about 200 recruits per meal, will be filled with recruits and staff. Residents may hear yells from simulated victims or emergency announcements over the base’s loud speakers about the exercise.