This was only a test...
Whitman, Mass. - What if foreign terrorists linked to al-Qaeda besieged several area schools and took students hostage?
That’s a frightening “what if?” question that attracted hundreds of police officers, firefighters and medics from dozens of communities and agencies to Whitman's Holt School on a recent Saturday morning.
To test local law enforcement’s response to such a scenario, Officers Bob Stokinger and Andrew Stafford, who are members of the Old Colony Special Operations Team, suggested holding the drill at the former school building on Essex Street.
The team includes police officers from Whitman, Pembroke, Kingston, Duxbury, Plympton and Halifax. Others also participated, including members of the Hanson Fire Department.
The vacant Holt School, once used as the town's high school, is set to be demolished early this year. The town is looking into building a new police station on the former school site.
Special Operations Tactical Training International, which specializes in military, law enforcement and corrections special operations, conducted the drill, said Whitman Police Chief Christine May-Stafford.
The drill simulated an incident in which terrorists simultaneously besieged a school in Whitman and five other Massachusetts schools, she said.
“They were threatening to blow up the school unless they talked to someone in charge and their demands were met,” May-Stafford said.
In the Holt School scenario, a group of terrorists took 14 school children hostage. Adult auxiliary police officers and EMS and paramedic students played the hostages, she said.
“You definitely have to prepare for the worst. This drill opens your eyes to the question that if something like this happened, how prepared would you be?” said May-Stafford. (cont...)
MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Six Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers joined on Tuesday a Russian naval task force in the Atlantic to take part in the final stage of the current naval exercise, an Air Force spokesman said.
During the exercises, from January 28 to February 2, Russian pilots will practice reconnaissance, missile and bomb strikes on mock adversary naval force, and will fly simulated air combat and air patrolling missions.
"Six Tu-95MS, eight Tu-22M3 Backfire C strategic bombers and two A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning aircraft have flown today to join the final phase of the current naval exercises [in the Atlantic]," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.
A total of 40 aircraft, including Tu-160 Blackjacks, Il-78 Midas aerial tankers, MiG-31 Foxhound long-range interceptors and Su-27 Flanker frontline fighter aircraft will participate in the drills, he said.
The aircraft are expected to fly at least 40 training sorties during the exercise. ....
"The exercise will focus on rehearsing command and control of an Air Force and Air Defense Forces combined-arms formation" in what the military terms the Central Asian strategic sector, said Lt. Gen. Valery Stytsenkov, head of the Air Force Combat Training Directorate.
He said units will also practice interoperability and teamwork with aviation, missile defense, antiaircraft, and electronic warfare assets of the Air Force, the Air Defense Forces, and the Ground Forces.
U.S. to resume full-scale war games in Philippines http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-31649020080129
New anti-bioterrorism technology created http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Science/2008/01/29/new_anti-bioterrorism_technology_created/1222/
ATLANTA, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers have developed a rapid, non-disruptive and less expensive method of decontaminating bioterrorism hazards.Georgia Tech Research Institute scientists, in collaboration with Stellar Micro Devices Inc. of Austin, Texas, created flat panels that produce X-rays and ultraviolet-C light to kill anthrax spores within two to three hours without any lingering effects. The technique also kills spores hidden in places like computer keyboards without causing damage.....