Coast Guard holds full-scale exercise in Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan, Alaska – Personnel from the Coast Guard and partner agencies conducted a full-scale active shooter exercise at the Ketchikan Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Terminal on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

Organized by the Southeast Alaska Area Maritime Security Committee and the Coast Guard, this important full-scale exercise simulated a response to an active shooter attack against the marine transportation system.

During the exercise, members practiced tactical procedures, methods to de-escalate the situation, crisis communications, and reduce threats from an active shooter at the Ketchikan AMHS Terminal and aboard the 408-foot AMHS marine vessel Matanuska. Coast Guard Station Ketchikan personnel also used a 45-foot medium response boat to safely medevac a simulated victim from the water.

Coordination between the following responding agencies were:

  • Coast Guard Sector Juneau
  • Coast Guard Station Ketchikan
  • Coast Guard Public Information Assist Team
  • City of Ketchikan Police, Fire, and EMS
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Alaska State Troopers
  • Alaska Wildlife Troopers
  • Alaska Marine Highway System
  • North and South Tongass Fire Department
  • PeaceHealth Medical Center
  • City of Ketchikan Docks and Harbors
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • NOAA – Office of Law Enforcement
  • Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Other Southeast Alaska Law enforcement authorities

“The active shooter exercise was a valuable opportunity and an overall success for the Coast Guard and our partner agencies to test and evaluate the readiness to respond to a critical incident in the southeastern region of Alaska,” said Capt. Darwin A. Jensen, Coast Guard Sector Juneau commanding officer. “The Coast Guard will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure that we are prepared for any emergency situation that may arise in the future.”

The exercise is designed to improve active shooter response protocols and interagency coordination for potential emergencies.

“In the event of an active shooter incident, we must be ready for an effective, coordinated emergency response,” said Antony Jung, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “This exercise was designed to test and strengthen Ketchikan’s capacity to prepare for, and respond to an attack, giving first responders the perfect learning environment to elevate their preparedness. One of the fundamental aspects of this exercise, particularly here in Ketchikan, was the close coordination and collaboration demonstrated among emergency stakeholders.”

Coast Guard Sector Juneau and Coast Guard Station Ketchikan exercises its emergency response capabilities with their port partners on a regular basis, honing skills as well as relationships.

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