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Port Arthur, Mid County 1st responders joining large-scale terrorism drill on Thursday

Local law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services and other government agencies and selected private sector partners will participate in an area wide terrorism drill on beginning at approximately 9 a.m. and lasting until noon.

There will be several events taking place throughout Southeast Texas at the same time and multiple agencies are involved.

Organizers said emergency services would not be compromised during these events. The drill is intended to validate the regional plan for any possible terrorist attack, Groves Fire Chief Lance Billeaud said.

Operation Golden Triangle is sponsored by the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission and will take place in Jefferson, Hardin and Orange Counties.

This exercise provides participants with an opportunity to assess capabilities, plans, policies and procedures. It focuses on decision-making, coordination and integration with other organizations during a Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack.

The expected outcome of the exercise is to validate the SETRPC’s Regional Plan for Unified Response to a Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack, assess response efforts by local, state and federal agencies, and to strengthen interagency coordination.

Operation Golden Triangle is the capstone exercise to a three-year project to develop a Unified Regional Response to a Complex Coordinated Attack funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Exercise participants will respond to a series of terrorist attack scenarios across the three-county region to assess the response of law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, area hospitals and emergency management assets.

The Port Arthur Police Department, Port Arthur Independent School District and Port Arthur Fire Department will be participating. This exercise will include several locations throughout Port Arthur, including the Port Acres area and the Port of Port Arthur.

For the public’s safety and in order to complete the exercise in a realistic environment, the exercise area will not be open to the public. This will not interrupt the schools, nor will any businesses be closed to the public.