Fort Hood Garrison directorates and first responders validated the installation’s ability to respond to an active shooter May 10.
The exercise scenario had three active shooters inside and around the Copeland Soldier Service Center, a bustling three-story building that houses several high-traffic offices on the installation.
Police and medical services, including those from partner communities such as Killeen, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove, responded to the scene.
Mark Peterson, III Corps and Fort Hood emergency manager, said the active shooter scenario was one the installation has wanted to test for a while.
“In 12 years, we have not done an active shooter exercise,” he said, noting that previously planned exercises have been canceled because of real-world events. “It was time to put all those lessons learned into practice and validate our incident response plan.”
The Copeland Center was selected intentionally, Peterson noted.
“It’s a difficult building,” he said. “There are three floors, multiple activities and offices.”
Copeland is also an active building with a constant flow of Soldiers, Family members, retirees and civilians to further complicate the exercise.
To prevent any real-world complications while hosting the exercise, signage was posted to alert visitors of the upcoming event, notices were published on social media, word was put out at the Community Service Council meeting and those who work in the building underwent active shooter training.
“We had a three-month training at the Copeland Center to prepare them,” Peterson said. “All of the offices were trained on how to respond to an active shooter.”
For police responders, the exercise was a good test of their response.
“Doing this exercise gives tactical law enforcement on the ground the opportunity to refine and adjust our operating…