Phase two of Olympic security exercises underway next week
VANCOUVER, February 2, 2009 - Representatives from the federal and provincial governments responsible for Olympic security announced today that a milestone exercise will be underway from February 9 to 13 across the Lower Mainland and Whistler.
Exercise Silver is part of the Olympic Integrated Exercise Program. The program is designed to ensure coordinated responses are sufficiently tested in preparation for incidents that might arise during the 2010 Winter Games. The program has three key components. Exercise Bronze was held in November 2008 and examined security structures. Exercise Silver, which will run next week, will practice plans and coordination. Exercise Gold is scheduled for November 2009 and will confirm readiness for the Games. The Program includes participants from the federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as emergency services and private sector partners.
Much of Exercise Silver is focused on information-sharing across government and non-governmental agencies and will therefore be out of the public eye. Other parts of the exercise will provide safety and security participants with hands-on experience.
"We are less than one year away from becoming operational. Exercise Silver and the overall exercise program play a vital role in ensuring game-time readiness. These shared exercises help develop and validate capabilities arising from the cooperative efforts and interoperability of various agencies and government departments from all levels", said Assistant Commissioner Bud Mercer, Chief Operating Officer of the RCMP-led V2010 Integrated Security Unit.
"This exercise program is an excellent opportunity for the Canadian Forces to come together with our security partners to practice the integrated security plan," said Rear-Admiral Tyrone Pile, Commander of Joint Task Force Games.
"British Columbia is recognized globally as a leader in emergency management," said John Oakley, Director, Integrated Public Safety Program, Emergency Management BC. "Exercises such as this allow us to work with our public safety partners to test and enhance the structures we have in place to protect public safety."
Security preparations for these Games, including the Integrated Exercise Program, will leave B.C. and Canada as a whole with a valuable legacy. Best practices and lessons learned from the exercise will be shared with federal, provincial and municipal partners and incorporated into their plans to ensure a secure 2010 Winter Games.
For further information:
Public Safety Canada
Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit
BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (on behalf of provincial government)