Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Exercise tests homeland security

Fort Carson community and military leaders gather for a training exercise at the Elkhorn Conference Center June 16.

Story and photo by Kerstin Lopez

Mountaineer staff

Key Mountain Post military and civilian leaders gathered at the Elkhorn Conference Center June 15-16 to conduct an extensive training exercise.

The U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Carson participated in an Installation Management Command seminar to assist the garrison commander and his staff develop a training and exercise strategy using the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, said William Brent, force protection specialist.

The focus of the two-day seminar was to evaluate installation performance and develop corrective action plans to improve and maintain emergency preparedness, prevent hostile acts, protect Soldiers, Family members and civilians, and improve response and recovery capabilities, Brent said.

“IMCOM sends out a team to familiarize all the installations with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, and this is part of that,” he said.

The first day involved a seminar to increase HSEEP knowledge, exercise design and capability assessments. To test one of the garrison capabilities, a scenario-driven tabletop exercise focused on the recovery mission on day two.

The exercise scenario consisted of an EF-3 tornado, which touched down on Fort Carson destroying and damaging numerous training facilities, barracks and homes on the installation.

“We are exercising the recovery piece of our mission. Primarily what we are looking at is the structural damage and how we recover from that,” Brent said.

The goal of the seminar and training exercise is to have first responders, directors, special staff and operations personnel gain a better understanding of developing exercises using the HSEEP process to train and effectively evaluate the dictated 30 garrison capabilities, Brent said.

A Department of Homeland Security Preparedness Directorate official said training exercises aim to help entities obtain objective assessments of their capabilities so that gaps, deficiencies and vulnerabilities are identified and remedied prior to a real incident.

“It’s important because we need to practice a coordinated effort of how to best recover for a smooth process, ensure security, ensure safety and get everybody back up operational,” Brent said.

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