Coast Guard, other law enforcement to simulate hijacking of boat in St. Louis ‘to ensure the Mississippi river remains open’ should such attack occur
ST. LOUIS — The Coast Guard, along with other federal, state, local and industry partners, are scheduled to conduct a full-scale Area Maritime Security and Training exercise near St. Louis this week.
The exercise is part of the Area Maritime Security and Training Exercise Program and will require federal, state, local and industry partners to respond and recover from a simulated attack against a local passenger vessel operating within the port.
According to the Coast Guard, the exercise will “test the region’s ability to respond in a collaborative means and mitigate a simulated attack by securing affected critical infrastructure and vessel areas within the St. Louis region and ensuring the Mississippi River remains open, sustaining the economic viability of the region and the nation.”
“When a substantial incident occurs on or near the navigable waterways, the federal, state and local agencies launch a unified command to manage the response efforts,” said Capt. Mick Scott, Coast Guard federal maritime security coordinator. “Training scenarios like this establish cohesion within a multi-agency response and strengthen response intervals and efficiency.”
The exercise will involve the simulated hijacking of a locally operated passenger vessel with some passengers sustaining injuries. The simulated event will require local agencies to transport injured personnel from the stranded vessel to land for further medical attention. The exercise will involve a maritime response scenario involving approximately 70 first response members.
Additionally, there will be explosive ordinance disposal activity at the Gateway Arch Riverboats facility involving the St. Louis Regional Bomb Squad to conduct explosives training. The training exercise will include representatives from multiple law enforcement agencies, local fire departments, medical/EMS personnel, emergency management personnel, maritime industry, Coast Guard, Federal Bureau of Investigation and others.