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Active Shooter Exercise Keeps Combat Center Mission Ready

By Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo
United States Marine Corps

May 14, 2016 - On May 17, the Combat Center will conduct an active shooter response and recovery exercise. The exercise will assess and further develop the installation’s ability to protect personnel and property as well as to counter and contain an active shooter event. The exercise will also offer participants an opportunity to practice and improve upon their emergency response standard operating procedures as related to an active shooter incident. 

“In today’s environment, the threat is out there and it’s real,” said Michael Burns, force protection supervisor, G-7 Mission Assurance. “It’s important we make sure our service members and their loved ones are prepared for and know how to respond to that type of attack.” 

The exercise will take place aboard the Combat Center between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., with active shooter scenarios taking place at the Village Center and building 693, which is the former location of the Child Development Center. During the exercise, the Combat Center will test their mass notification systems and the Fire Department and Provost Marshal’s Office will communicate procedures through the dispatch center.

“Our first responders conduct this type of training frequently. In the event of an active shooter incident, the installation’s response wouldn’t be an issue,” Burns said. “But ensuring everyone aboard the installation has their emergency action plans ready and understands their roles and responsibilities is key.”

The most important step in being prepared is staying informed, learning what to do in the event of an active shooter, and making a plan to keep oneself and loved ones safe. When preparing for or dealing with an active shooter incident, it’s important to:

•Recognize signs of potential violence around you 
•Build an emergency kit with essentials, including medication, to have on hand at your workplace if a lockdown order is given
•When law enforcement arrives, remain calm and follow instructions 
•Do not leave until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so
•Seek medical care and counseling if needed.
Active shooters pose an immediate risk of death or serious injury to anyone in the vicinity. According to, “they are often on the move and will accept random victims of opportunity while searching for intended victims or until stopped by law enforcement, suicide, or other intervention.”

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