On Tuesday, April 6 and Wednesday, April 7, 2010, the InfraGard National Members Alliance and the Houston, Acadiana, New Orleans, and Mobile Chapters led a multi-state Full Scale Exercise in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and critical infrastructure firms from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. More than 150 persons from more than 70 different public and private sector organizations participated in the Exercise.
This was one of the few crisis exercises where both members of law enforcement and critical infrastructure private sector responders have participated together. “This is critical: too many times we plan an exercise after a crisis. This time we are working together before a crisis takes place so we can respond more efficiently with law enforcement and private sector companies,” said Richard T. Garcia, Chairperson of the InfraGard National Members Alliance Crisis and Exercise Committee.
The InfraGard-led Exercise evaluated processes used by law enforcement agencies and critical infrastructure firms to control reentry after a hurricane and to assure that the right essential personnel are allowed reentry at the right time. The participating law enforcement agencies included Galveston County, TX Sheriff’s Office, Galveston, TX Police Department, Lafourche Parish, LA Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Harrison County, MS Sheriff’s Office, Gulfport, MS Police Department, and Calhoun County, AL Sheriff’s Office. The New Orleans and House FBI Field Offices participated as observers, as did a Emergency Managers from Galveston County, Lafourche Parish, Harrison County, and Calhoun County, as well as the State of Texas and the State of Mississippi, and DHS.
In addition, representatives from private critical infrastructure firms participated, including Bunge North America, Chevron, Global Emergency Management/Global Security Associates, J. Ray McDermott, Nord-Sud Shipping, Securitas USA, Shell Oil Company, and Waste Management. Voluntary organizations, including Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS) and Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), also participated. Key stakeholders included the Energy Security Council and the Association of Contingency Planners, the Port of South Louisiana, the Port of St. Bernard, the Port of Gulfport, and the Mississippi River Maritime Association.