Defense Department holds annual nuclear exercise, focusing on domestic terrorism

This year’s Nuclear Weapon Accident Incident Exercise, or NUWAIX 2015, took place on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, located on the Kitsap Peninsula in the state of Washington. The Defense Department whole-of-government exercise was held May 5-8, 2015, and invo | Courtesy of the Department of Defense

The Department of Defense held a government-wide Nuclear Weapon Accident Incident Exercise (NUWAIX) at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, the department reported on Monday.

The exercise focused on threats of domestic terrorism and what the department calls a "home-grown terrorist" and nuclear incident. Participants in this exercise included the Navy, Marine Corps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture and Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the Coast Guard. 

“I'm very proud of the (Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DRTA)) team that planned and executed NUWAIX 15, integrating and managing over 1,500 participants who made up a whole-of-government response,” DTRA Director Ken Myers said. “DTRA's motto is ‘Making the World Safer,’ and I guarantee that our world is a bit safer today because of the superb exercise this team developed and executed in Washington.”

Participants worked with a scenario that involved a team of domestic terrorists that targeted one of the host base's weapons convoy. The scenario dictated that the simulated attack caused casualties and injuries to Security Battalion soldiers of the Marine Corps and that the site was contaminated with radiological material.

A comprehensive review of the exercise and the performance of participants will be completed and made available to the public in approximately 90 days.