TSA receives high marks for critical incident management exercise

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National Press Release
Friday, October 6, 2006

WASHINGTON - TSA received high marks for its performance last June in a simulation of an incident that would require relocation of the agency's operations. TSA effectively relocated in a timely manner, maintained command and control, and continued TSA's critical functions. Leadership was able to set policy, make decisions, and communicate down the chain of command. The exercise demonstrated that TSA was able to effectively conduct business from a remote location, and that its continuity of operations plan was effective.

For more than 24 hours, TSA successfully conducted business at its relocation site. TSA staff ensured that the incident command system functioned properly. We were able to communicate with partners - including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - as well as aviation industry partners.

This simulation exercise is a part of the Federal government's annual Top Officials Exercise (TOPOFF-4), which ensures that the government is equipped and prepared to respond any incidents that may arise - including terrorism and natural disasters. As a part of TOPOFF-4, Federal agencies are instructed to activate their continuity of operations plan. Participants are expected to promptly move to their designated relocation site, maintain command and control, and perform mission essential functions. Each agency has a neutral observer who evaluates and scores the agency's performance.