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Monday, April 22nd, 2024

Coast Guard details continuity of operations exercise participation

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Coast Guard officials recently espoused the benefits of the service branch’s recent participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-spearheaded federal continuity of operations (COOP) exercise.

“The exercise went well,” Coast Guard Office of Emergency Management and Disaster Response (OEM) Continuity Manager Jeffrey Kellam said regarding Eagle Horizon 22 (EH). “Our goal was to invest in the future and ensure we are prepared to continue operations in a degraded environment, and I think we achieved that. Our Pacific Area (PACAREA) team did a fantastic job, and we have some things to work on for sure.”

The exercise’s scope focused on transferring command capabilities from one unit to another in a crisis, with participants simulating a complex cyber-attack taking Coast Guard headquarters offline.

“We tested the readiness of the National Command Center by shifting operations from Coast Guard Headquarters to PACAREA,” Kellam said. “Whether it’s a cyber-attack, hurricane, or a simple power outage in the NCR and elsewhere, it’s imperative that we are able to sustain our mission-essential functions.”

Units are required to conduct annual COOP exercises, adding OEM offers regular workshops stemming from lessons learned from common challenges throughout the Coast Guard.

Kellam noted that units can incorporate continuity exercises into other events, such as annual hurricane response exercises with state and local authorities, to fulfill the annual requirement.