Name of the Exercise: USAG Fort Buchanan, FSE
Date of the Exercise: 7/8 Dec 21
Location of the Exercise: Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico

What was our role in the exercise?

  • Exercise Design, Development and Scenario Planning, Simulation Modelling, Design and support, White Cell support and execution.

ATS was the Prime Contractor and led this exercise by providing exercise planning, design, control, support, simulation services, and simulation cell management. ATS’ industry leading proprietary technology and services permitted the members of US Army Garrison Fort Buchanan to train on 16 IMCOM core capabilities, which facilitated the testing of their five primary training objectives.

Purpose of the exercise: The design of the FSE was to test some of the installations Core Capabilities, response, recovery, and mitigation activities as they relate to operations during an earthquake. The earthquake spawned multiple events to include: activation of their Emergency Operations Center (EOC), mass warning notifications, activation of a shelter and notification of shelter operations, Mutual Aid coordination, employment of Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC) Operations, Recovery Working Group (RWG) activation, response to mass casualties and fatalities, activation of Department of Public Works (DPW) damage assessment teams, and the deployment of security forces to secure the scenes. These events compelled the installation to present a comprehensive complex Common Operating Picture to the Garrison Commander (GC) and Senior Commander (SC) while simultaneously responding to multiple events.

Overview of the scenario:
The two-day scenario began on day one with a 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurring North of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The earthquake spawned a number of events, the first being a rupture and gas leak in an LPG Propane Tank near the PX on post. This event compelled the activation of the EOC and the establishment of multiple Incident Command Posts (ICPs). The on-scene Incident Commander (IC) established a cordon area and notified local environmental agencies of the leak to mitigate the effect on the local populace. Simultaneously, the earthquake caused damage and injuries in the Food Court, injuring six personnel, the Commissary Warehouse area, injuring two and killing one, and the collapse of the Main Gate Canopy, injuring two guards, trapping a vehicle with four passengers along with damaging the Visitor Control Center trapping one employee. On-post as well as mutual aid assets requested from local municipalities and agencies (Bayamon, Guaynabo, VA Hospital, and Centro Medico Hospital) responded to these events, providing initial triage, medical care and coordinating an air medevac (AEROMED) for a critical patient to a local hospital (Centro Medico). The DoDEA school system underwent shelter operations at all on-post schools during the earthquake until the installation issued an “All Clear.” In addition, the installation Power Substation sustained damage, resulting in a loss of power to 2/3 of the installation buildings, requiring the activation of the installation generators and backup power plan and activation of network teams to troubleshoot network connectivity issues. Furthermore, issues with the water system on post, shelter operations and drone sightings were coordinated and dealt with throughout the day.

The second day of the exercise began with a 6.9 magnitude aftershock occurring, resulting in the rupture of the LPG Propane tanks again, sparking a fire, requiring Fire Department assets to extinguish it. EFAC Operations began with local Red Cross assets providing assistance and support. Communications, network and water outages continued throughout the day requiring DPW and Installation Network personnel to deploy in response. The VA Hospital deployed its MASCAL package consisting of four vehicles and associated personnel to the installation to provide medical assistance as needed. Periodic drone sightings were noted throughout the day and associated reports were issued.

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.

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