Canada, U.S. simulate WMD attacks on border and major cities

SEATTLE, (May 13, 2003) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver, has undertaken a five-day, full-scale exercise and simulation of how the two nations would respond in the event of a weapons of mass destruction attack.

The project, named TOPOFF 2, consists of war game-type exercises responding to a hypothetical explosion containing radioactive material in the Chicago, Seattle, and Vancouver areas. Canada’s participation is in keeping with the commitment to conduct joint exercises, as outlined in Point 30 of the Smart Border Declaration Action Plan.

Over the five days of the exercise, federal, state, local, and Canadian participants will be engaged in unclassified and classified round-the-clock exercise play. Some of the simulations will include reaction to breaches in border security, and highjacking of tankers hauling explosive or radioactive material. The goals of TOPOFF 2 are to improve the two nations’ capacity to manage extreme events; create broader frameworks for the operation of expert crisis and consequence management systems; and validate authorities, strategies, plans, policies, procedures, and protocols.

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