FORT IRWIN, CA – On September 28th, 2021, Applied Training Solutions (ATS) planned, designed, and supported an exercise at U.S. Army Garrison Fort Irwin to train their core capabilities, which facilitated the testing of their three primary training objectives.
The purpose of the exercise was to test the installations threat notification and mitigation activities as it relates to intelligence warning, as well as the response and recovery operations during a fire with multiple active shooter events. These events required the activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) while simultaneously responding to multiple events: employing first responder assets (Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS) to suppress the fire, neutralize the shooters and address mass casualty/fatality management in a timely manner to minimize loss of life and damage to installation assets. The exercise also focused on the activation of a Threat Working Group (TWG), activation and employment of the Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC) Operations, Recovery Working Group (RWG), initialization of forensics investigations of the scenes, employment of security forces to secure the scenes, with a telephonic Press Conference by the Garrison Commander (GC) and selected staff.
The scenario began with intelligence lead-in messages gathered the week prior from social media postings by immigrants disgruntled with the way the U.S. and its military withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving many Afghani “sources” at the mercy of the Taliban. This intelligence resulted in activation of the TWG to analyze the data and provide the GC with different Courses of Actions (COAs) for force protection measures.
Following the lead-in there was a communications outage at the Installation dispatch center, followed immediately by the first of two simulated shooting incidents. In the first shooter scenario, two personnel from the San Bernardino area infiltrated Fort Irwin near the horse stables and RV Park, shooting and killing four personnel while wounding 10 more. During this event, the shooters utilized a Molotov cocktail to start a fire in a nearby exercise building. Law Enforcement and Fire Assets arrived on scene, successfully suppressing the fire and apprehending the two shooters. Medical assets arrived, providing initial care and identifying seriously injured personnel requiring air transport to regional medical facilities for treatment. Military Police Investigation units arrived on scene and began forensic investigations while the 11th ACR QRF forces arrived to provide security for the surrounding area.
The second active shooter scene began an hour after the conclusion of the first and consisted of one shooter attacking the barracks area of 11th ACR, resulting in three dead and five wounded. LE assets again responded and successfully apprehended the shooter. Medical assets responded and conducted mass casualty operations. During the forensics investigation conducted by CID agents, intelligence products (maps with circled targets and personnel identified) were found in the individual’s backpack. In response to this intelligence, QRF Forces were dispatched to the areas marked to provide additional security and the GC’s scheduled press conference was changed to a telephonic Press Conference. Fort Irwin established their Emergency Operations Center, multiple Incident Command Posts, Threat Working Group, Emergency Family Assistance Center and Recovery Working Groups in response to these incidents. The exercise concluded with a telephonic Press Conference with the GC and key garrison staff.
The technology and supporting tools used to deliver the exercise were ATSsim Software, Google Earth, and ATSsim Master Scenario Events List (MSEL) Tool Software. The effectiveness of the tools to deliver this type of exercise were excellent.
ATS was able to assist Fort Irwin in becoming more prepared to handle unexpected attacks on their own base, and how to react appropriately to that situation.
“As a leader in emergency preparedness training and readiness, ATS continues to actively work to deliver innovative, experience-based disaster-preparedness exercises solutions for local, state and federal agencies to protect communities.
For additional information on ATS and ATS Solutions, please visit www.appliedtrg.com”