WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently participated in a cooperative transportation security exercise with local transportation authorities that included Amtrak, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), local law enforcement and state and local emergency responders.
The June 25, 2008 exercise was held at Washington's Union Station and brought transportation entities from the national capital region together to reinforce strategic plans for preventative and protective response in the event of emergency situations. Topics included the flow of intelligence and information between agencies and the sharing of best practices for transit emergency preparedness.
"Coordinating with transit agencies in the nation's capital is essential to ensure strategies are in place before the need to respond to an emergency situation should arise," said Assistant Administrator for Transportation Sector Network Management John Sammon. "This was an ideal opportunity to exercise those cooperative efforts between our transit, local law enforcement and emergency response partners in the region."
Participants were given emergency situations that ranged from suspicious activity to known terrorist threat scenarios. Each participant discussed their respective roles during these scenarios and collaborated on how they could work together to achieve common preventative coordination efforts.
The Greater National Capital Region consists of Washington, several counties in Maryland and Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. The area is served by four major passenger rail entities including Amtrak, the MTA Area Rail Commuter (MARC), the VRE and WMATA. Combined they serve over four million people on approximately 800 miles of track.
For more information about TSA, please visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov.