FORT GREELY, Alaska – April 14: U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Greely, Alaska (USAG-FGA) will conduct its annual exercise that will include a simulated earthquake and associated damage as well as an aircraft incident called “Operation Thermopylae*,” in multiple areas around the installation, April 18-22, 2016.
This exercise is a continuing effort to test, assess and validate emergency response plans and procedures against all hazards. The mass notification/giant voice system messages will begin with “exercise, exercise, exercise” and will announce general public information and all incidents that have occurred on post. AtHoc will be used in conjunction with the exercise to provide desktop, email and telephonic notifications to soldiers and civilians working on Fort Greely. They may also receive periodic status updates throughout the exercise.
The initial message for the exercise will state that everyone should remain indoors, stay off the roads and await further instructions. To alleviate confusion and anxiety, everyone is encouraged to follow instructions as the scenarios unfold. However, do not be alarmed or panic. Real-world announcements would not begin with “exercise, exercise, exercise.”
While the USAG-FGA main gate is not scheduled to close during the exercise it could be a possibility and community members with appointments next week on post are encouraged to arrive early for their appointment.
For the duration of the exercise, there will be increased visibility of first responders, such as law enforcement and firefighters. They will be responding to assist exercise victim actors. Community patience and understanding is appreciated.
The exercise takes proactive measures to ensure that the installation and the workforce is prepared to react in case of a real act of terrorism or any number of hazards that could potentially impact USAG-FGA. It also promotes the idea of situational awareness, safety and personal responsibility in preparedness and prevention efforts. While the scenarios may inconvenience community members temporarily, the
positives outweigh the negatives, with Soldiers, civilians and families learning what to do and how to react instinctively in a hostile or disaster situation.
LTC Detrice Mosby, Commander, USAG-FGA, asks for the community’s patience and understanding, as the garrison conducts this important exercise that will enhance USAG-FGA’s ability to protect its most valuable assets and resources: the Soldiers, families and civilians of USAG-FGA.
* Thermopylae is a mountain pass near the sea in northern Greece which was the site of several battles in antiquity, the most famous being that between Persians and Greeks in August 480 BCE. Despite being greatly inferior in numbers, the Greeks held the narrow pass for three days with Spartan King Leonidas fighting a last-ditch defense with a small force of Spartans and other Greek hoplites. Ultimately the Persians took control of the pass, but the heroic defeat of Leonidas would assume legendary proportions for later generations of Greeks, and within a year the Persian invasion would be repulsed at the battles of Salamis and Plataea.
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