Arizona Office of Homeland Security
Wed Oct 3, 2007 22:06

THIS IS A DRILL Joint Press Release

(602) 542-1251 (O)
(602) 320-4035 (C)


News Release Regarding Joint Mock Terrorist Attack Exercise

Joint Press Release

State - Local - County - State of Sonora

For More Information:

Cam Hunter 602-542-4830
Arizona Office of Homeland Security

Sheriff Tony Estrada 520-761-7869
Santa Cruz County

Juan Pablo Guzman 520-287-6571
City of Nogales

Jessica Heredia 011 52 631 312 0828
State of Sonora, Mexico

The Arizona Office of Homeland Security, the Mexican State of Sonora, and dozens of other state, local and federal agencies on both sides of the border will participate in an exercise simulating a large-scale terrorist attack on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2003, at the Nogales Port of Entry. This binational exercise is the first of its kind along the Arizona-Mexico border.

The Arizona Statewide Binational Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Exercise will last three days and will be the most extensive exercise ever conducted in the area. Nearly 1,000 people from 60 agencies are expected to participate over the duration.

"Exercises such as this will prepare us for a host of different types of disasters," said Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. "It's critical that we stress the importance of using an all-hazards approach to homeland security, whether it involves being ready to respond to a terrorist strike or catastrophic disaster caused by a natural hazard, such as wildland fire, flood or monsoon storm."

"This is a unique opportunity for us to test local, state and federal capabilities to respond to a terrorist scenario on a binational level," said Frank Navarrete, Director of the Arizona Office of Homeland Security. "This exercise will help us to test terrorism response and recovery plans, identify gaps and ultimately ensure the future safety and security of our citizens."

In the simulation, a "stolen" chemical agent will be driven by truck to the Mariposa Port of Entry, then detonate. The exercise will involve a multi-agency response to mass casualties and the decontamination of a hazardous agent. The WMD drill will measure the capabilities of border patrol, emergency management, law enforcement, fire, public health, and hospital personnel to deal with a large-scale terrorist attack. The exercise is being staged on a day when the Mariposa Commercial Port of Entry (one of the busiest U.S. - Mexico ports along the border) is closed, so as not to interfere with border traffic.

The exercise will continue Nov. 17 and 18 to address after effects of an emergency, such as mental health services, mitigation, and recovery.

"This exercise provides a training opportunity that cannot be equaled in a classroom. We are able to bring to life plans that now exist only on paper as we make critical, potentially

Border Exercise, page 2

life-saving decisions in a real-time scenario," said Navarrete. "This is a true test of our ability to work together and mobilize resources as safely and quickly as possible."

Please see the attached sheet on media coverage.
Participating Agencies
Office of Homeland Security
Division of Emergency Management
Department of Health Services
Department of Transportation
Department of Agriculture
Department of Public Safety
Department of Environmental Quality
Arizona National Guard
Santa Cruz County
Pima County
Cochise County
Yuma County
Maricopa County
City of Nogales
Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) of Mesa, Glendale, Tucson and Phoenix
City of Tempe
Nogales Unified School District #1
Fire Districts of Nogales Suburban, Rio Rico, Tubac, Arivaca and Green Valley
Tohono O'dham Indian Reservation
Sells Hospital
Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital
American Red Cross
Salvation Army
Citizen Corps (Pima and Santa Cruz Counties)
Arizona Rangers
University of Arizona
Federal Agencies:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Federal Bureau of Investigation
U.S. American Consulate
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

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Environmental Protection Agency


Cruz Roja Mexicana (Red Cross)
Proteccion Civil (Civil Protection)
Consulado de Mexico (Consulate)
Bomberos de Nogales (Fire)
Grupo Beta (LE and Border Patrol),
Mexican Customs (Customs)
Mexican Immigration (Immigration)
Presidencia Municipal (State Police)
Mexican EPA
Traffic Control (Nogales)
Mexican Police (Nogales)
Hospital Basico
Hospital Securo Social

Border Exercise, page 4

Media Coverage - Badges/Parking
Media representatives are invited and encouraged to cover this unique event. However, the following is important information related to the exercise:

Event coordinators and participants will be representing many governments (including Mexico) and private organizations. Security will be high and there will be controlled access for all observers. In addition, a portion of the exercise takes place in an international zone.

Media representatives who wish to attend must register, preferably in advance, and will be issued a badge allowing them to be at the "incident" area and to observe operations and mock media briefings at the County Emergency Operations Center.

A "Media Escort" will provide information and updates to media representatives as the scenario unfolds.

To register, contact Maru Duarte, Emergency Management Coordinator, Santa Cruz County, at 520-375-8000. PARKING IS NOT ALLOWED AT THE MARIPOSA PORT OF ENTRY. THEREFORE, WE WILL BE OPERATING SHUTTLE BUSES between locations (incident site and County EOC)

DIRECTIONS: The reporting location for shuttle rides is Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), 2150 N. Congress Dr., Nogales, Arizona.

To reach the Center, take Interstate 19 to the Mariposa exit (exit 4). Make left at the light off the freeway exit, head east, and then turn left at the first traffic light (Congress Drive). Proceed up a winding hill to EOC on the right at the top of the hill.

Report to the EOC by 6:00 a.m., Sunday, November 16. Media representatives will be shuttled to the exercise site. Delay in reporting may mean that an observer may miss commencement of the exercise.

Media packets that include an overview of the exercise will be distributed onsite. If you have any questions regarding media badging, please contact Maru Duarte, Santa Cruz County Emergency Management at 520-375-8000.


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