Guam simulates attack

Guam simulated a biological, chemical and radioactive attack this week as part of a 36 hour training exercise to test local and federal agencies' preparedness in the face of a terrorist attack.

The event began when a joint FBI and Guam Police Department SWAT program raided a terrorist cell followed by the transportation by "terrorists" of chemical and biological weapons to locations spread around the island at 4 a.m..

The FBI, Coast Guard and Customs officials mobilized by 7 a.m. to intercept the cell at Cabras Island. The "terrorists" were found to be loading containers of gas and radioactive materials at that location.

Later on in the day, a plane that crashed at the airport leaked chemical gas. Those "terrorists" were tracked down, apprehended and interrogated.

The Guam Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Defense, in conjunction with Joint Task Force - Homeland Defense, the Guam National Guard's 94th Civil Support Team, the Alaska National Guard's 103rd Civil Support Team and multiple local and federal response agencies, carried out the exercise, which included approximately 100 emergency response personnel.

The simulated attack centered on the strategic importance of Guam, which is home to a large military personnel population. Guam is considered a first line of defense for the United States as well.

The goal for the simulation, which was a worst-case scenario for Guam, was to test the coordinated response among the nation's different agencies and to identify gaps in communication and response time as well as the collective participation of multiple agencies.

"This is a perfect opportunity for us to realize our challenges and our weaknesses and correct them before something should ever happen in the real world," Lesley Leon Guerrero, spokeswoman for Guam Homeland Security, told the Guam Pacific Daily News.