If you here what sounds like gunfire and see a lot of emergency equipment and personnel over in the vicinity of UH Maui College this Friday, it’s probably just a big security exercise. On Jan. 15, campus security will do what they’re calling a “joint functional emergency exercise” in the Noi`i building from 9:30am to 3:30pm. The building and the parking lot fronting that building will be closed that day.
Joining the UH Maui College Campus Crisis Management Team will be members of the Maui Police Department, Maui Fire Department, American Medical Response (AMR) and the 93rd WMD Civil Support Team.
Wait, what? The 93rd? That’s a National Guard outfit based out of Honolulu that, according to GlobalSecurity.org, trains to “support local and state authorities at domestic WMD/NBC [Weapons of Mass Destruction/Nuclear, Biological, Chemical] incident sites by identifying agents and substances, assessing current and projected consequences, advising on response measures, and assisting with requests for additional military support.”
Friday’s exercise scenario at UH Maui College simulates an attack with nuclear, biological and/or chemical weapons? I quickly scanned through the exercise news release from UH Maui College Campus Security Chief W. C. Tsang, and found that, in fact, the exercise will focus on responding a lone active shooter:
“The exercise scenario will involve a perpetrator in the Noi`i building armed with a deadly weapon,” Tsang wrote. “The perpetrator will be portrayed by a member of MPD who will be armed with a pistol loaded with blank ammunition. NO PROJECTILES will be fired during the simulation. However, blank shots will be fired inside and outside of the Noi`i building, which may be heard from a distance away.”
Wondering why UH Maui College campus security needed help from a military outfit specializing in dealing with weapons of mass destruction for an exercise involving a lone shooter with a pistol, I called Tsang.
“The MPD reached out to us,” Tsang told me. “They have some exercise going on this week with the 93rd, and they reached out to us for a functional exercise. In the scenario, there will be some sort of gas device as well. There will be triaging, de-con[tamination].”
Tsang added that though campus security has worked with the MPD, MFD and AMR in the past, this will be their first time with the 93rd. Tsang’s news release also stated that the college “is required under federal law to conduct a functional exercise every year to test our emergency response and evacuation procedures.”
Photo of the 93rd WMD Civil Support Team: Photographer’s Mate 1st Class William R. Goodwin/US Navy/Wikimedia Commons