Multi-Agency Live Exercise Concluded
10 Feb 2023
A Government-led multi-agency live exercise (LIVEX) organised by the Office of Civil Contingencies conducted today at sea and across multiple locations on land, including the Special Olympics Sports Complex, Little Bay and in the area of Parson’s Lodge.
The scenarios involved a migrant vessel discovered at sea, the response to a suicide explosion at the Special Olympics Sports Complex, the discovery and controlled explosion of a RHIB ashore at Little Bay, and the diffusion of a marauding terrorist attack and hostage situation in the vicinity of Parsons Lodge.
The LIVEX provided an important opportunity for emergency services, agencies and the military to practice their counter-terrorist response procedures, tactics and strategies.
The exercise was coordinated at a strategic level by the Strategic Coordinating Group at No 6 Convent Place, co-chaired by the Minister for Civil Contingencies Samantha Sacramento MP and Assistant Commissioner of Police Cathal Yeats. A Tactical Coordinating Group operated from New Mole House, whilst exercising agencies each operated their own command structures. All were in constant communication.
In a post-exercise de-brief, the SCG reviewed the response to a number of exercise scenarios which included an element of migrant response, a suicide bombing and a marauding terrorist attack. A dynamic risk assessment was carried out against a number of strategic objectives, including to preserve life and reduce harm, search and apprehend suspects, increase the threat level to CRITICAL, and adopt counter-terrorist response level EXCEPTIONAL.
Additional to testing immediate counter-terrorist response, the LIVEX provided an important opportunity for emergency services, responding agencies and departments to test their resilience and capacity to deal with a counter-terrorist operation and its aftermath.
Further debriefs will take place over the coming weeks in order to further assess the exercise and identify any lessons learned.
The Minister for Civil Contingencies, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, said: ‘This LIVEX was an important opportunity to test Gibraltar’s counter-terrorist response procedures in a holistic way and in a way that is as close as possible to a real-life scenario. This is the first such opportunity since 2 before the pandemic, whilst this counter-terrorist LIVEX would normally have been routinely scheduled once a year. Plans for the LIVEX and its scenarios began in April 2022.
‘An enormous amount of work goes into preparing for an exercise such as this, and I’d like to sincerely thank everyone involved in its planning and operation, particularly the active players and actors who have been working for long hours in bad weather.