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Soldiers train for worst case
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Fort Stewart plans to be ready for a worst case scenario, such as the tragedy that unfolded on Nov. 5, 2009, at Fort Hood outside Killeen, Texas, when U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 30 others.
The installation will conduct an emergency response exercise this week based on an active shooter scenario. Fort Stewart residents, employees, and visitors should be aware of increased emergency vehicle traffic, and increased security measures and traffic delays at post gates, according to the 3rd Infantry Division Facebook page.
“While there have been no indications of a changed or increased threat environment, this exercise will help ensure the continuing security of our soldiers, civilians and families,” said Fort Stewart spokesperson Kevin Larson in a written release.  “ It ‘s an important opportunity for the installation’s Directorate of Emergency Services and other associated agencies to rehearse how they would respond to a situation such as an armed assailant.”
Larson said the exercise will not be conducted near residential areas or schools on post. However, “some Fort Stewart residents near the Mobilization Operations Center may hear simulated rounds being fired for a few moments during the exercise, which should last under an hour.”  
Larson said the center was chosen for the exercise location because it can be secured and ensures the safety of participants in the exercise and those people who work nearby.
“The directorates of Emergency Services and Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security have key roles in responding to and facilitating the exercise,” he said.  “Department of Defense and military police will respond to the initial 911 call of a shooter at the MOC, and other installation offices like ambulance and fire will respond accordingly.”
This past January, Fort Stewart conducted an emergency response exercise titled “2009 Stewart Guardian.” That action movie-like scenario had a deranged former soldier hijacking a small aircraft and forcing the pilot to land it at Fort Stewart. The fictitious assailant then killed the pilot, exited the plane while firing a machine gun and detonated a “dirty bomb.” With the explosion and gunfire, several soldiers were “killed” and more injured. After the initial attack, the plot had the man escape, but he later was detained by law enforcement.

Courier correspondent Mike Riddle contributed to this story.
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