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Training exercise in Braggs helps military prepare for terrorist attack

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BRYAN DEAN
The Oklahoman
Wednesday, Oct 21, 2009

BRAGGS — Braggs may seem an unlikely place for an international health care summit, but it’s the perfect place to simulate a terrorist attack on such a gathering.

About 500 military personnel gathered Tuesday at the Oklahoma National Guard’s Camp Gruber Training Center north of Braggs for a two-day training exercise that will help them respond to a major terrorist attack. Army National Guardsmen from Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois; Air National Guardsmen from Illinois; and Marines from Maryland are participating.

Called Operation Joint Eagle, the scenario imagines the United States is hosting an international health care summit in Braggs, with President Barack Obama and more than 35 other world leaders in attendance. The fake summit was attacked at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday when simulated terrorists set off several car bombs in the area. A few hours later, the “terrorists” began bombing bridges, hospitals, nursing homes, police stations and fire stations.

The scenario is being run by Response International Group, an Oklahoma City company that trains first responders and military units across the country. Mike Shannon, general manager for Response International Group, is a former Oklahoma City firefighter who gained his expertise responding to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 10:07 am





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