Military Threats Cause Fort Bragg To Test Anti-Terrorism Plan
Posted October 24, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
FORT BRAGG — Terrorist threats have put three U.S. military installations in the Persian Gulf on a high state of alert. Here at home,Fort Braggis on normal security status, but Wednesday, soldiers were preparing for a terrorist attack.
Tracey Davy, a Fort Bragg soldier, pretended to be a victim of a bomb attack during the exercise. With the threat of terrorism so real, she wanted to take part in the exercise.
"It's not a joke. It should be taken real seriously," she says.
The bomb was not filled with a poisonous gas, but emergency personnel treated it as if it was.
"It's always the best way to go about these things. Always be prepared," says Pope Airman Jose Herrera.
With the USS Cole bombing incident fresh in everyone's mind, soldiers realize how important the exercise is. Fort Bragg could be the next target.
"They understand they could be on the USS Cole going into port or driving down Bragg Boulevard in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and experience some sort of terrorism," says Col. Tad Davis, Garrison Commander at Fort Bragg.
Fort Bragg also tested its limited access plan on post. Cars and drivers that entered the base were checked for anything suspicious.
At Womack Army Medical Center, emergency personnel tried a new tracking system through a chip they attach to incoming patients. The new system would make information more accessible to distraught families.
"As families get to the family assistance center, they'll say, 'Yes, your family member is here. This is where they are at, and what's being done with them.'"
Pope Air Force Basecould also be vulnerable if a bomb were to go off at Fort Bragg because chemicals could easily be spread in the air. The base also held its exercise on Wednesday. Spring Lake will conduct a terrorist exercise on Thursday.