There is no visible sign of Marines on the streets of Kentucky, but
inside the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort the 4th Marine
Division and civil agencies will be dealing with devastation after a
terrorist attack — simulated by a computer program.
“Gunslinger 2000” is an experimental program involving the 4th Marine
Division in a joint exercise with civil agencies preparing for a
possible terrorist attack within the continental United States,
previously reported by WorldNetDaily.
A Marine spokeswoman identified as Maj. Buckley told WorldNetDaily that Marines in uniform would not be visible on the streets during the exercise. She said “Gunslinger 2000” is a classroom event that will take place at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, and inside Fort Knox.
“They’re going to have different events which test their abilities to develop policy procedures and working relationships in a controlled environment,” explained Buckley. “The locations I have are Frankfort from 17 to 24 June, and then the following week it’s in Fort Knox.”
The mock scenario has already begun, according to plans provided
by Marine public affairs. A massive mock-earthquake took place yesterday along the “New Madrid” fault, causing major destruction and forcing large populations to be moved to shelters in camps set up by the Red Cross.
Plans call for each of the many camps of survivors to be attacked by terrorists using undisclosed weapons of mass destruction. The specifics of the attacks will be made known to the participants in the exercise when each happens.
The training is made possible through a computer simulation developed by
Cubic Applications, Inc. (CAI) working under contract with the
National Simulation Center
(NSC). The training will be part of a training exercise run by a military organization known as the
National Interagency Civil-Military Institute
(NICI) from San Luis Obispo, Calif.
NICI began in 1989 and provides training for military and civil agencies that need to work together for various reasons. The Community Response Emergency Simulation Training (CREST) exercise will involve federal agencies, Marines, National Guard, state and local elected leaders, emergency management leaders, local law enforcement and other civil agencies. The participants will develop a strategic and tactical plan to manage a terrorist attack of such a large magnitude that it totally immobilizes a large population.
“The participants will be confronted with over 100 scripted events which tests their ability to develop policy, procedures, and working relationships in a controlled environment,” according to Sgt. Maj. Loretta Averna, NICI public affairs in a written statement.
The computer simulation is called “Spectrum,” designed by CAI under the direction of John A. Harris, a former Army Lt. Col. with terrorism and special operations experience.
The program was developed under federal contract as a way to simulate military operations “other than war,” Harris told WorldNetDaily. Spectrum was used to train the Army for missions in Bosnia and Kosovo because it “has the capability to simulate the peacekeeping environment,” explained Harris.
CAI provided the personnel to develop, test, document, train and field the simulation under contract with NSC at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. A newer version of Spectrum is currently under development with help from Texas A&M, according to Harris.
“We have taken the table-top methodology and made it partially electronic by using the simulation. Basically, all the simulation does is to allow graphics on a map in the form of overlays we have to create, and real-time movement over roads, obstacles and so on for vehicles. The simulation produces casualties, consumes fuel and rations, and any type of organization can be created from refugees to hospitals to contaminated patients,” explained Harris.
“The key point is the taxpayers are winning on this one as we are adapting a military simulation to apply to a civilian and DOD response to a terrorism and WMD (weapons of mass destruction) event for the purpose of training at the interagency level for local, state and federal responses,” he added.
The exercise is the first of its kind, but not the last. Future exercises will be planned after a complete evaluation of the results.
“Following the week-long training, the Marines will hold a strategic planning session examining the feasibility of their future involvement providing military support to civil authorities within a weapons of mass destruction catastrophic event,” explained Averna.
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