Story by: Carlos Cuebas, U.S. Army Garrison Command Fort Buchanan
FORT BUCHANAN, PUERTO RICO- Members of Fort Buchanan’s Directorate of Emergency Services and the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico 1st Mission Support Command conducted an active terrorist threat training exercise on Aug 30 here.
The exercise evaluated the installation’s response to an active shooter situation at the 1st Mission Support Command headquarters, and a suspicious package at the Army and Airforce Exchange System. The exercise aimed to sustain the high level of readiness of emergency and safety personnel assigned to the only U.S. Army installation in the Caribbean.
Members of the Homeland Security Investigations agency participated in the exercise as advisors.
During the exercise, residents and visitors on and near Fort Buchanan heard warnings over the “giant voice” system, sirens, and detonations and saw emergency response vehicles and personnel in action.
“An active shooter attack can occur anywhere, and we must all be prepared. We all play a vital role in preventing these situations,” said Hector Herrera, Army Counterterrorism Operations Specialist at Fort Buchanan.
The military command increased the Force Protection Condition Level (FPCON) to Delta level as part of the drill.
There are five levels of FPCON: Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta. The levels increase from Normal’s lowest condition to Delta’s highest and most restrictive condition. FPCON Delta led to the closure of all gates for a period of time.
“It is critical for the Fort Buchanan community to participate in exercises like this Antiterrorism drill to ensure we are prepared for any scenario at the only U.S. Army installation in the Caribbean. We hope it never happens, but we are prepared to deal with it quickly if it does. We thank every member of the Fort Buchanan community and the surrounding communities for their patience during the event,” said Moulton.
As the Department of the Army’s center of gravity in the region, Fort Buchanan serves a diverse military community comprised of approximately 15,000 Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard soldiers, Marine Corps Reserve, and the Navy’s Operational Support Center personnel.
The installation also offers critical services to the civilian population of the Department of Defense, veterans, retirees, and their families, as well as more than 30 federal agencies located in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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