- Last summer in August I saw one news
broadcast, and it never appeared again, of many men dressed in O.D. army
underwear (shorts and t-shirts) hancuffed and hands over heads, looking
very disturbed, being removed from the Pentagon by black ninja type soldiers.
- The news reported this was an exercise
to teach the men how to resist a potential terrorist's raiding the building.
What seemed funny to me was the fact these men were handcuffed and no one
seemed to be teaching them much, and they didn't seem too interested to
learn, and the cameraman only got in a short view of them before he was
fanned-off by the blackclothed one with a large calibre weapon following
the handcuffed men. Can you tell me what you think? I don't really need
an answer to this letter but I would like to know if there is any place
I can look to get more info . Thanks !
- teddiebear _____________
- DoD Drill Tests Response to
- By Staff Sgt. Alicia K. Borlik,
USA American Forces Press Service
- WASHINGTON -- The "terrorist attack"
on the Pentagon May 30 was just exercise Cloudy Office, but the threat
is real, said Chief John Jester of the Defense Protective Service. The
exercise simulated an armed assault on the office of Defense Secretary
William Cohen. The drill included a barricaded hostage situation and the
terrorist release of a lethal nerve agent. Cloudy Office was held on Saturday,
when the building is nearly empty. Normally, about 25,000 people work inside
on a regular weekday when such an attack would take place. The exercise
of Pentagon force protection measures and the responsiveness of civilian
emergency services involved more than 500 people from federal, state and
local agencies. Jester said the Pentagon was used because, as an international
symbol of the United States military, it is a plausible terrorist target.
Cloudy Office was not a test of Pentagon security, said Army Lt. Col. Nancy
Burt, a DoD spokesperson. The scenario assumed a breach -- the "terrorists"
started their assault inside the building and did not have to overcome
building security measures. The exercise began with nine armed pro-Iraqi
terrorists storming Cohen's office, taking the staff hostage and threatening
to release sarin unless their demands were met. Carrying dummy shotguns
and pistols, the terrorists also had a gallon jug of liquid simulating
sarin nerve agent, a liter bottle of diluted sarin and an explosive device.
A Pentagon surveillance camera caught the attackers and signaled the communications
center to dispatch officers to the scene. Under the scenario, in the initial
confusion, someone knocked over the jug, releasing lethal fumes that felled
more than 200 "Pentagon workers." Jester said the initial response
was to contact the terrorists. After negotiations led to the release of
some hostages, DoD officials questioned them and determined officials faced
a possible chemical weapon situation. Hazardous material teams from local
fire departments arrived at the scene and set up decontamination facilities.
Military medical personnel prepared an outdoor triage area to treat potential
sarin victims. Meanwhile, negotiations continued and ended with the terrorists
releasing the hostages and surrendering. While some DoD officers secured
the building, others continued evacuating sarin victims. Water sprayed
from three fire trucks provided the initial decontamination of victims.
Following that, victims were taken to the triage area for exams and treatment.
Some players were randomly declared "still contaminated" to give
emergency technicians practice in using a special decontamination shower
and different treatment procedures. DoD officials said the exercise is
part of an effort to improve the nation's overall ability to respond to
incidents involving nuclear, biological or chemical agents. "The chemical
threat is big now," Jester said, citing Japanese extremists' 1995
sarin attack on the Tokyo subway. "Everybody in the emergency reaction
and counterterrorism fields has been looking at how to respond." Other
events, such as the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings, have
prompted DoD to increase exercises of this type, he said. "With what's
going on in the world today, you have to look at all types of threats."
Cloudy Office was not the first exercise of its kind in metropolitan Washington,
but was by far the largest. A similar exercise two years ago, Operation
Crucial Office, also simulated a hostage situation in the defense secretary's
office. DoD also conducted two partial evacuations of the Pentagon in October
and November 1997. "I think we should do it more often," paramedic
and firefighter Stephanie Cacopardo of Montgomery County, Md., said at
the exercise scene. A medic for 17 years, Cacopardo has been involved in
several similar exercises and said there will always be tremendous value
in doing them. "As usual, there will be an initial panic," she
said, explaining the first reactions of several emergency teams arriving
at a scene. "But it brings up mistakes and problems." Jester
agreed. "Communication between organizations in this type of event
is sometimes difficult," he said. "That's why you have to practice
this. Start crawling, then running." Agencies involved in the exercise
included the FBI, the fire and rescue departments of Arlington County,
Va., the Army Pentagon Medical Facility, the Washington Metropolitan Strike
Force, hazardous material teams, the Virginia Office of Public Health and
the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The 200 volunteer victims came
from the military services.