The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), private sector partners, local first responders, and state and federal partners held a tabletop exercise to test emergency response and recovery operations in preparation for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, which will be held June 18-27 at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.
The exercise scenario focused on preparing private and public sector response and recovery plans for two simultaneous events: a civil unrest activity followed by an active threat event during the Olympic Trials in Eugene and Springfield, Oregon. The virtual event allowed CISA and partners to review pre-incident information sharing and incident response protocols, as well as immediate and short-term recovery operations. The exercise fostered relationships between private sector partners and federal, state, and local governments and allowed them to collaborate on and share best practices and procedures.
“Today’s exercise was an excellent opportunity to work with our partners and test community response and recovery processes,” said Patrick Massey, regional director of CISA Region 10, which covers Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. CISA Region 10 has been supporting the Olympic Track and Field Trials since 2017. “We will take our lessons learned from this experience and implement those best practices to ensure a safe event for both the athletes and spectators.”
TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly said that the exercise helped validate critical coordination and communication protocols between all participating partners and agencies.
“The safety of all event participants and our community is our top priority,” said Reilly, whose TrackTown USA is the local organizing committee for the event. “We are incredibly appreciative of the broad network of organizations that work on ensuring that we are collectively prepared to fulfill that priority.”
University of Oregon Associate Vice President and Chief Resilience Officer André Le Duc added: “Planning and relationship building is a critical component when considering the safety and security for an event, such as the U.S. Olympic Trials,” he said. “The (University of Oregon) appreciates the opportunity to coordinate with all of the public and private partners working to support what is sure to be an inspiring and memorable competition.”
The public also plays a critical role in security. CISA encourages anyone attending the Olympic Trials to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to venue personnel or law enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security’s See Something, Say Something® campaign has more information on reporting suspicious behavior.
CISA participates in dozens of exercises a year and has staff strategically located throughout the United States to advise businesses, schools and other organizations of all sizes on ways to enhance their security and resilience. Resources and tools are available on the agency’s website through its Hometown Security initiative.