House: Antiterrorism exercise at airport
Bermuda and the United States will work together on a counter terrorism exercise at LF Wade International Airport next year.
Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said the Government was approached by the US representatives about the possibility of a joint exercise late last year.
Mr Caines said: “Whilst the likelihood of such an incident occurring in Bermuda is low, we should nevertheless have contingency plans in place.
“Planning has been under way by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Team in conjunction with other agencies for this exercise, called Vital Archer, which will be held in April 2020 at the LF Wade International Airport.
“In preparations for this live exercise, a Table Top Exercise attended by 19 departments and agencies was held in June at Warwick Camp. It was successful in identifying Bermuda’s multi-agency roles, responsibilities and limitations including what is expected of the Americans.”
Mr Caines said the initiative was just one of several undertaken by the DRRM team, including risk prevention strategies for upcoming events and the hurricane season.
He said the DRRM team last year worked with cruise ship operators and stakeholder groups for an exercise to be used to draft contingency plans for a major incident on a cruise ship in or near Bermuda.
Mr Caines said: “During cruise ship season 2019, all regular cruise callers to Bermuda have been provided with a document identifying and highlighting the key evacuation and assembly points in the Dockyard area.
“This document has been welcomed by the cruise ships as there were no evacuation or assembly points identified prior to this season.”
He said the DRRM team are also still at work on an emergency evacuation plan for Ferry Reach.
Mr Caines said: “Honourable Members will be aware that there is only one access road in and out of Ferry Reach.
“The purpose of the plan is to determine an alternative option and procedures for safe, controlled evacuation of the Ferry Reach community should an event occur that presents a severe risk to life and health of the community.
“I am pleased to report that the drafting of the plan has commenced, with the first draft distributed to the working group on July 12. The goal is to have the plan completed by December.”
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