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    • Ready Brigade supports installation protection training exercise

      Photo by Sgt. Marlana Cureton

      Fort Stewart, Ga.- Observer, Coach/ Trainers (OC/Ts) assigned to 188th infantry brigade participated in the Fort Stewart Hunter Army Airfield annual Integrated Protection Exercise held at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Education Centers, March 20-21, 2024.

      Benjamin Franklin is credited with being the first to say the phrase, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In an emergency situation, the last thing that anyone wants to be is unprepared.

      Photo by Sgt. Marlana Cureton

      OC/Ts provided evaluations and after-action reviews during and after the training event to test the preparedness of the installation during the training by using real-world scenarios to validate the response to these complex and difficult situations.

      “The Installation Protection Exercise did real world Active Shooter and Bomb Threat scenarios,” said Maj. Justin Maroney, assigned to 188th infantry brigade, “there were many stakeholders involved in this exercise to include Military Police, Army Criminal Investigation Division, DPW, the Fire Department and school officials.”

      Maroney went on to explain that the key objectives of the training were to expose any gaps in the Emergency Operations plan, which will mitigate the loss of life and property in the future.

      Photo by Sgt. Marlana Cureton


      “We tailored the training by using real world scenarios, using real role players, and threw in scenarios as the exercise went on to stress emergency operators in making decision points,” said Maroney.

      Over the two day training event, multiple topics were covered; including a bomb threat, active shooters, barricaded suspects, hostage negotiation and power grid failure. Ensuring the training was effective and engaging for the participants was an integral part of the success of the mission.

      The directors of the training ensured that the scenarios were ongoing, so that there was no downtime. The planners, and role players used real-world scenarios that made the exercise as realistic as possible.

      In all planning situations strategies and techniques are vital, especially regarding response and risk mitigation during these emergency scenarios.

      “We emphasized time management for the response and waiting for backup to arrive so that Law Enforcement did not have to enter the building alone,” said Maroney, “ for both exercises we stressed that communication was the key.”

      As with any exercise, there were challenges to overcome, such as having too many evaluators in the training area, which caused confusion in some areas, but overall the training was productive.

      “A success story was seeing the components get better with every iteration,” said Maroney.


      The response teams learned from their mistakes and learned how to communicate and work cohesively with one another, which made them successful by the end of the exercise.

      The addition of the OC/Ts helped to measure effectiveness because during the after-action reports held, each organization was able to address what they needed to practice and prepare for in the event of a real life incident.

      “We measured the effectiveness of the training by their improvements with each iteration, response times to new scenarios and by the incident command becoming a unified command,” said Maroney.

      Overall, the lessons learned, knowledge, and skills that were gained during the training will be critical to planning for future training and for real world events. Event planners hope to sustain and reinforce this by continuing to help Fort Stewart/ Hunter Army Airfield exercise their Emergency Action Plans now and in the future.

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