Coast Guard, partner agencies take part in simulated ctive shooter exercise on Ellis Island

NEW YORK – Mr. Frank Fiumano, a member from Coast Guard Sector New York Port Security Division, talks to federal, state and local agency members during a simulated active shooter table-top exercise on Ellis Island, New York, October 19, 2016. The simulated exercise allows all of the agencies involved to test their ability to respond to an incident involving various scenarios without deploying operational units. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sabrina Clarke)

NEW YORK – Mr. Frank Fiumano, a member from Coast Guard Sector New York Port Security Division, talks to federal, state and local agency members during a simulated active shooter table-top exercise on Ellis Island, New York, October 19, 2016.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sabrina Clarke)

NEW YORK – The United States Coast Guard, along with other federal, state and local agencies, conducted an active shooter table-top exercise on Ellis Island, New York, Wednesday.

The simulated exercise allows all of the agencies involved to test their ability to respond to an incident involving various scenarios without deploying operational units.

In the simulated scenario, two teams of two individuals armed with handguns planned to take over two passenger vessels. One simulated suspected vessel traveled from Liberty State Park in New Jersey, and the other from Battery Park in Manhattan.

“This drill was not motivated by any current specific threat,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Thomas Morkan, deputy commander, Coast Guard Sector New York. “It was, however, in recognition of the potential that unfortunately exists today. Were there such an incident in the real world, multiple agencies would respond.”

Nearly 20 different agencies participated in the exercise, each simulating mobilizing a wide variety of forces, intently coordinating with a sense of urgency in responding to the threat in the shortest possible time.

“This was an opportunity for us all to see what obstacles we would have to overcome to deal with a situation like this,” Morkan said.

Hosted by the National Park Service, agency representatives gathered in one room, where they simulated their agencies’ response in real time, reacting as they would if the incident were real instead of simulated.

“The safety of our visitors is paramount to us,” said Superintendent John Piltzecker.  “We are thankful to the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Park Police for leading this exercise, and to all the participating agencies for providing the highest possible level of inter-agency cooperation and coordination in order to ensure the protection of our visiting public.”

Participating Federal agencies:

  • U.S. Coast Guard, Sector New York
  • U.S. Park Police
  • National Park Service
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Transportation Security Agency
  • FBI
  • Joint Terrorism Task Force

Participating State agencies:

  • New Jersey State Police
  • Liberty State Park Police
  • New Jersey Office of Homeland Security

Participating Local agencies:

  • Statue Cruises
  • NYPD
  • FDNY
  • New York City Office of Emergency Management
  • Jersey City Police Department
  • Jersey City Fire Department
  • Bayonne Police Department
  • Bayonne Fire Department

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