Law enforcement from all over the southeast join up with military personnel and their robotic counterparts.
In Tuesday’s drills, they serve search warrants on suspected bomb manufacturing facilities, each one carefully crafted in advance.
ATF Special Agent Donal Robinson notes, “We try and make it as realistic as possible.”
But away from the sweat and searches, coffee fuels a different kind of quest.
A command post buzzes inside an ATF building on the Arsenal.
It’s the nerve center. They collect hints and clues, putting together all the information that pours in from drill sites across the country.
In the event of a widespread series of bombings, police would call in military assistance. The two groups would have to work together, so getting them on the same page with terminology makes a difference.
Robinson points out, “It breeds familiarity between the public safety and military folks.”
Huntsville makes a natural command post. After all, Robinson notes, “You’ve got the school that trains all of the public safety bomb squad personnel here.”
So Huntsville leads the way in this drill, and possibly in a real life scenario too. They analyze the pieces and try to put together the puzzle.
Robinson explains, “It’s testing not just the technical response, if you will, to a scene, by the technicians that are out there, but also the folks that are manning the command post, their ability to analyze the stuff there from a number of different scenes.”
All for the purpose of making us ready for moment when the scenes aren’t carefully crafted by law enforcement.