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Fort Bragg Training Exercise Causes Traffic Delays

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A training exercise at Fort Bragg designed to keep people safe from terrorism caused plenty of problems on the roads on Wednesday.

During Wednesday morning, it looked like an ordinary day on Bragg Boulevard with cars moving smoothly. But then around lunchtime, traffic started to snag, catching some drivers off-guard. The traffic delays were part of Orbit Comet, an anti-terrorism training exercise that takes place twice a year.

"It tests force-protection capabilities along with response on Fort Bragg," said Maj. Jan Northstar of the 18th Airborne Division.

As part of a heightened sense of security, military police will search every car entering Fort Bragg, even those with U.S. Department of Defense decals.

"Being that I am a soldier and I'm still trying to get on base, even though I have my car with an ID tag on it, they still search the vehicle," motorist Sha-kima Bonner said.

The last time military police did a 100 percent search of cars was right after Sept. 11. Back then, Bragg Boulevard looked like a parking lot, but this time, drivers are more prepared for the day's exercise and understand this is how Fort Bragg makes sure everyone remains safe.

"This is the proper way to do things. If you're going to do it, do it right," motorist Hubert Townsend said.

Wednesday's exercise concludes the training portion of Orbit Comet. On Thursday, soldiers will particpate in an after-action review, where they will assess the week's activities and talk about changes or improvements that need to be made.


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