A broad-ranging training exercise involving more than 3,000 emergency responders and 70 agencies today tested California's readiness for a terrorist attack.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger led the exercise—known as Golden Guardian—that simulated a terrorist takeover of a passenger ferry near the Port of Long Beach and an active shooter in Shoreline Aquatic Park in Long Beach.
"Exercises like this are so important, because we must be prepared for the real thing," Schwarzenegger said. "Here in California, if the unthinkable happens, we will be prepared."
Golden Guardian 2010 is a statewide emergency preparedness exercise that is paid for with federal homeland security grants. It will test coordination between federal, state and local response and recovery among city, county and state agencies, community-based organizations and the private sector, as well as the state's Standardized Emergency Management System.
Participating state agencies included the California Highway Patrol, California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA), CaliforniaVolunteers, California Department of Public Health, California Department of Transportation and the California National Guard.
Port terrorism was the theme of this year's Golden Guardian exercise. The exercise focuses on the state's response and recovery to multiple terrorist attacks in the Bay Area, Southern Region and Inland Region. Cal EMA partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard and their Area Maritime Security Training and Exercise Program in the Bay Area Ports, Port of San Diego, and Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In the Port of Sacramento, Cal EMA is supporting the Sacramento Urban Area Security Initiative during their one-day full-scale exercise.
The Golden Guardian 2010 has also partnered with a full-scale exercise with the San Diego County and the California State University San Marcos responding to multiple shooters at a World Cup Soccer event and the detonation of a "dirty bomb" near the stadium.
The Golden Guardian exercise is an annual statewide training series conducted to coordinate prevention, preparation, response and recovery mechanisms of city, county and state governmental entities, and private sector and volunteer organizations.