Guam – The Port Authority of Guam raised its security level this morning following a potential domestic terrorist threat, as two people were detained, in connection with incidents where unknown chemicals were found on two vessels at the port’s area of operations.
The above scenario was part of a two-day exercise called Kontra I Piligru, involving the PAG and first responder teams on island.
The exercise involved the Guam National Guard’s 94th Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, PAG, U.S. Coast Guard, Guam Fire Department, Guam Police Department, Guam Office of Homeland Security, the Area Maritime Security Training and Exercise Program, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Corrections, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Guam Shipyard also provided support to the exercise through the use of additional training vessels.
This exercise was intended to promote integration of the 94th WMD-CST with local and federal response agencies in reaction to multiple events and venues, and to a terrorist event in a maritime environment, according to LTC Joseph Limtiaco, unit commander.
[First responders meet at the Incident Command Post to exchange information about the potential “domestic terrorist threat” at the port. The briefing was part of Kontra I Piligru, a two-day multi-agency maritime exercise held recently. (GUNG Photo by CPT Ken Ola)]
“Among the overarching purposes of this exercise were to strengthen relationships between our response partners, as well as, promote learning situations through tactical operations, that will challenge us in a maritime setting like this,” he said. “It was good to see the port authority and other first responders take advantage of this training opportunity and were able test their own systems and procedures, alongside each other.”
Kontra I Piligru also allowed the first responders and other agencies involved to test the practical application of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS), according to officials.
This is the first of what is planned to be an annual maritime exercise for the 94th WMD-CST, along with local and other federal first responders, according to CPT Joseph Connelley, unit deputy commander.
The first day of the exercise involved two barrels containing unknown chemicals washing onto the port’s Family Beach. Local first responders were called in to cordon the area and assess the type of chemicals found, while the U.S. Coast Guard secured the perimeter on the water.
Some of the exercise scenarios also involved an assault by members of the GPD’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) on a vessel suspected as being used by domestic terrorists to manufacture “chemical weapons of mass destruction”. Once the vessel was secured, members of the 94th CST’s survey team were brought in to assess the type of chemicals that were on board the vessel.
The exercise also tested the PAG’s response procedures for such incidents. At least 80 people from all agencies that participated were involved in the exercise, Connelley added.
Five members of the 64th WMD-CST, New Mexico National Guard, also joined to augment the Guam Guard members throughout the training