A counter terrorism exercise was held in Adelaide Wedensday for police and emergency services to test their response mechanisms in the event of a terrorist event.
Led by South Australia Police (SAPOL) the exercise, named ‘Joint Command 2’, plays out the scenario of a home-grown terrorist group that, when detected by authorities, conducts an attack in Adelaide.
It involved several hundred emergency service staff, including police. The exercise is a major, multi-agency exercise that has been planned over the last twelve months.
Areas of SAPOL involved included Special Tasks and Rescue Group (STAR) including negotiators, explosive experts and intelligence areas.
Joint Command 2 began at AAMI Stadium with a mock terrorist attack that involves a shooting, bomb blast and an undetonated explosive device.
The scenario then developed to include a hostage taking situation at a second location at Netley.
The object of the exercise was to practice the command and control structure during a terrorist incident including strategic level decision making.
Assistant Commissioner for Security and Emergency Services, Bryan Fahy said it was important given the current terrorist threat level to train to respond to potential attack.
“The National Terrorism Public Alert level was recently raised from medium to high, which means the risk of a terrorist attack in South Australia is a very real possibility that can’t be ignored.
“The safety and security of the South Australian community is our highest priority.
“The focus of the exercise was on an operational response, emergency management and recovery; and the scenario has been designed to practice these aspects.
“We remain committed to ensuring our State arrangements are robust and flexible enough to respond to real life situations,” Mr Fahy said.
Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Peter Button said Joint Command 2 is a valuable networking, team-building and skills development exercise.
Wednesday’s activities provided emergency services with an opportunity to exercise and assess our capabilities, should we ever be faced with an incident of this type. It will also build on our existing collaborative working relationships within the sector.
Judith Barker, Director, Service Performance and Improvement, SA Ambulance Service said she was looking forward to using this exercise to strengthen relationships with SAPOL, MFS and other emergency services agencies.
“Joint Command 2 gives SA Ambulance Service the opportunity to prepare for a large-scale mass-casualty incident, and test our response capacity and capabilities,” she said.
“Our job is to provide expert out-of-hospital care to the casualties. Just like an incident in real time, our crews arrive on scene, triage and assess casualties, and provide pre-hospital treatment and/or transport to an appropriate destination,” Ms Barker said.
Exercise activity in SA ran throughout the day at AAMI Stadium and at SA Police facility at Netley.
Residents and business surrounding these sites have been informed and are aware there may be significant noise and activity.