During the 2011 Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Urban Shield training exercise, SWAT and Tactical Response teams participated in 27 individual events ranging from Search Warrant Service to Active Shooter/Immediate Action Team scenarios. Teams arrived on Friday October 14, 2011, and received mission and safety briefings as well as an introduction to the latest technology to be used in the training scenarios. In addition, each team member was subjected to a medical assessment and firearms qualification at the Alameda County Regional Training Center Range Facility.
The training events began at 0600 hours Saturday, October 15, 2011, and culminated after four 12 hour operational periods, on Monday October 17, 2011, at 0600 hours. Teams were transported to the individual scenario sites located in five separate Area Commands, by vehicles driven by Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s familiar with both the teams themselves and the scenario route.
Participating teams were introduced to the latest in tactical medical treatment options and received updated information on treatment for any injuries or health issues during the event. Ongoing medical evaluations occurred at Mobile Medical Checkpoints located throughout the exercise for any medical issues experienced by team members.
Throughout the scenarios, teams were confronted with events averaging 1 hour plus in duration designed to test their training, preparation, and decision-making. Teams used technology provided to them for use during the scenarios and were debriefed after each scenario for their immediate feedback concerning the technology presented to them.
This event was not limited to teams from our regional area, but was open to any team wishing to participate. A team from the Boston Police Department has participated in the event since its inception in 2007. In 2009, the French National Police “Research, Assistance, Intervention, and Dissuasion” (R.A.I.D.) Team participated. Observers came from many international areas including Bahrain and the State of Israel. In 2011, teams from Jordan, Bahrain and the State of Israel participated in the training scenarios.
Urban Shield is a unique tactical training exercise involving thousands of hours of planning and preparation. The event allows participating agencies a practical opportunity to evaluate their tactical team’s level of preparedness and ability to perform a variety of intricate first responder operations. The dual benefit of this event allows each agency to evaluate its own tactical capabilities while training together with EMS, Fire, and EOD to identify our ability to cope with large scale events at a Regional level. This training event incorporates the National Incident Management System (NIMS) which allows participating agencies to expose their personnel to NIMS is a “real time” training venue, enhancing and adding to their skill, knowledge and abilities in the use of this critical incident management tool.