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What! Americans and Canadians working together...

Posted by marie on 9/07/03 at 22:45 (129085)

We should focus on what we can do together in the event of an emergency and we are. Just another little cut and paste, sorry.

05 May 2003
U.S. Will Conduct Five-Day Simulated Terrorist Attack Exercise
(Canadian government will assist in the simulation) (1040)

The United States will conduct a five-day, full-scale exercise and
simulation -- dubbed TOPOFF 2 -- demonstrating how the nation would
respond to a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) attack, the Department
of Homeland Security announced.

'The exercise consists of simulated attacks in the Chicago and Seattle
metropolitan areas,' Homeland Security announced at a briefing May 5
in Washington. 'The state of Washington, King County, and the city of
Seattle [will] respond to a hypothetical explosion containing
radioactive material. The state of Illinois, Cook, Lake, DuPage and
Kane counties, and the city of Chicago respond to a covert release of
a biological agent. Nineteen federal agencies and the American Red
Cross will become involved during the five-day exercise. The National
Capital Region, including the District of Columbia, state of Maryland,
and Commonwealth of Virginia, are participating in the first day of
the exercise.'

The Canadian government and the province of British Columbia and city
of Vancouver will also participate in the exercise, the department
said.

'Canada's participation in TOPOFF 2 is in keeping with the commitment
to conduct joint exercises, as outlined in Point 30 of the Smart
Border Declaration Action Plan,' the department said. Approximately 18
federal departments and agencies with counter-terrorism and
consequence management roles are involved, as well as the province of
British Columbia. Canadian participation is coordinated by its
Department of the Solicitor General and the Office of Critical
Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness.

'TOPOFF 2 embodies the spirit of interagency and international
cooperation that surfaced in the aftermath of September 11th,'
according to Secretary of State Colin Powell. 'It is this cooperation
that will help defeat terrorism worldwide,' he said.

'The exercise consists of simulated WMD incidents; there will be no
release of any actual agents,' according to the department
announcement.

Following is the text of the announcement:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Office of the Press Secretary
May 5, 2003

'TOPOFF 2' -- WEEK-LONG NATIONAL COMBATING TERRORISM
EXERCISE BEGINS MAY 12, 2003.

Nineteen Federal Agencies, State and Local Emergency Responders From
Illinois and Washington State and Canada to Participate in Full-Scale
Exercise Sponsored by Department of Homeland Security and Department
of State

Washington -- Beginning May 12 at 3:00 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT), the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State, in
cooperation with federal, state, local, and Canadian partners, will
undertake a five-day, full-scale exercise and simulation of how the
Nation would respond in the event of a weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) attack.

The exercise consists of simulated attacks in the Chicago and Seattle
metropolitan areas. The state of Washington, King County, and the city
of Seattle respond to a hypothetical explosion containing radioactive
material. The state of Illinois, Cook, Lake, DuPage and Kane counties,
and the city of Chicago respond to a covert release of a biological
agent. Nineteen Federal agencies and the American Red Cross will
become involved during the five-day exercise. The National Capital
Region, including the District of Columbia, state of Maryland, and
Commonwealth of Virginia, are participating in the first day of the
exercise.

The government of Canada, including the province of British Columbia
and the city of Vancouver, are also engaged in exercise play. Canada's
participation in TOPOFF 2 is in keeping with the commitment to conduct
joint exercises, as outlined in Point 30 of the Smart Border
Declaration Action Plan. Approximately 18 federal departments and
agencies with counter-terrorism and consequence management roles are
involved, as well as the province of British Columbia. Canadian
participation is coordinated by the Department of the Solicitor
General and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and
Emergency Preparedness. Canada and the United States have a history of
conducting joint counterterrorism exercises dating back to 1989.

The exercise consists of simulated WMD incidents; there will be no
release of any actual agents. While the exercise scenario, extent of
damage, and level of threat are based on a hypothetical situation and
are not intended as a forecast of future terrorist-related events,
they do reflect the current threat to the United States.

'Protection against terrorism requires that organizations at every
level of government and in the private sector work together in
partnership to prepare for events and deal with their consequences,'
said U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. 'TOPOFF 2 provides
the opportunity to test our preparedness, and at the same time
identify ways to improve response in the future.'

The exercise will enable top officials and response personnel to
practice different courses of action, gain and maintain situational
awareness, and deploy appropriate resources. Top federal officials,
state governors, county executives, mayors, [and] city managers, along
with state and local responders, will be key participants and play
active roles throughout the exercise.

'TOPOFF 2 embodies the spirit of interagency and international
cooperation that surfaced in the aftermath of September 11th,' stated
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. 'It is this cooperation that will
help defeat terrorism worldwide.'
'The Smart Border Declaration laid out an aggressive road map to
secure and strengthen our borders. The commitment to conduct joint
exercises is an important part of that agreement,' said Deputy Prime
Minister John Manley. 'TOPOFF 2 is an excellent opportunity to
collaborate with our American partners, test our response plans, and
further enhance our joint response capabilities.'

Over the five days of the exercise, federal, state, local, and
Canadian participants will be engaged in unclassified and classified
round-the-clock exercise play.

The goals of TOPOFF 2 are to improve the nation's capacity to manage
extreme events; create broader frameworks for the operation of expert
crisis and consequence management systems; validate authorities,
strategies, plans, policies, procedures, and protocols; and build a
sustainable, systematic national exercise program to support the
national strategy for homeland security.

The TOPOFF 2 exercise series is overseen by the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security/Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP), which
provides training, equipment, exercises, and technical assistance to
the nation's first responders, in partnership with the U.S. Department
of State/Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

Re: What! Americans and Canadians working together...

wendyn on 9/07/03 at 23:18 (129090)

Interesting article and positive news. I'm surprised the BC government has time for mock emergencies right now. They have plenty of real ones. I know you folks don't get much Canadian news...there is a City in BC (Kelowna) that has been threatened by nearby forest fires for almost a month now. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed, thousands of people are still evacuated and there is no end in sight.

We had just left there when the fires started. The fires have also recently destroyed amazing historic train trestles what used to be a beautiful canyon that we biked through just last year. Very sad. (They've had the hottest dryest weather on record since record keeping began)

Re: What! Americans and Canadians working together...

marie on 9/07/03 at 23:26 (129094)

I have read about the fires there. It is tragic that so many folks have lost their homes.

marie

Re: What! Americans and Canadians working together...

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/08/03 at 14:21 (129151)

marie:

Most Canadians get along gloriously well with people from the US. Canada has its far left US - haters, like a number of European countries but I beleive they are a minority.
Ed