Troops at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, led an exercise Wednesday and Thursday for local law enforcement to prepare against future active shooter threats, officials told Military Times.
The annual integrated protection exercise simulated scenarios for first responders to train for dangerous crises and offered the installations the opportunity to practice their own emergency operation response procedures.
“When we do these exercises, I try to develop them and create them as realistic as possible,” Chester “Beau” Bradley, the installation emergency manager at the Georgia posts, told Military Times. “The primary purpose of our exercise program is to train our civilian workforce.”
Soldiers with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division role played as victims at locations across the bases for first responders from Liberty County, Georgia, and the Savannah Police Department. Training included simulated responses to potential real-world school shooting and hostage situations, Bradley added.
The training comes in the wake of a fatal shooting at Fort Stewart in December 2022. A 28-year-old specialist is charged with the murder of an infantryman assigned to 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Officials at Fort Stewart were not able to comment further on that incident, which remains under investigation.
The exercise also follows a deadly school shooting earlier this week in Nashville, Tennessee, where six individuals, including three 9-year-old children, lost their lives to gun violence. A Marine infantry veteran with the Nashville police helped stop the armed assailant.
The next full-scale protection level exercise for the posts is scheduled to occur in September, Bradley said.
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media