What Do You Do When an Active Terrorist Attack Is in Real Life?

Pretend you’re drowning in a sea of foam. Who’s going to save you? Probably a group of soldiers and Marines, preferably in browns and black…and they’ll be wearing military fatigues, not stinky white ones. This might save your life.

Well, that’s sort of what it seems to be like in the State of New York with the announcement of a training effort utilizing the New York National Guard to create a modeled response in the event of an active terrorist attack with aviation support to cover the distance needed to reach the scene of the attack using one of the major airports in the New York area. I guess they couldn’t afford, you know, extra people for that. You need all those military facilities, right? By the way, I’m only joking. There are actually about 240 National Guard troops in all currently, from both state and federal agencies, but that could double in the event of emergency.

How far did that ill-conceived helicopter running over those gentlemen come? Read this and weep…

“We want to be prepared to meet the threat of an attack on a large scale,” Maj. Gen. James B. Terry, commander of the New York National Guard, said during a brief news conference at the Guard’s headquarters in Westbury on Saturday afternoon. The Guard is using the event – which included live fire training – to improve its capability to protect airports and other facilities statewide in the event of an attack, he said.

OK, so they’re going to go out and do it again. Again. And again…

Retired Brig. Gen. Patrick Krimwohl, who led the New York Guard during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, plans to lead an overall strategy involving Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill and the federal government for a one-year deployment of National Guard forces throughout the state for terrorist preparedness efforts. “This kind of thing is kind of rare,” Krimwohl said. “We are pretty familiar with aviation security and how they do it in other states.”

So when these few (at best) are doing their training, they’re going to be going door to door. That’s not unusual in the State of New York. I can recall the orders were given that any window cuts or gates had to be boarded up and grilles had to be installed. They were pretty obvious obstacles to anything from tri-state traffic to searching rooms, making it pretty unlikely that a whole lot of these guys were going to crack the code and get caught trying to smash some shotgun through the front door. (No, not trying to drop something on the man or whatever, just keeping it on the other side of the wall.)

The story made the rounds on CNN and the New York Times ran with a fairly lengthy piece on the effort. If the threat of an active terrorist attack is a threat to New York (and there is no indication this is anywhere close to that level) then we need to be prepared. There’s no doubt we have some good leaders and tactical capability, but these kids probably deserve to be paid a little better and we’re going to need a lot more bodies to hire and train. A major earthquake and New York City all by itself may be a lot tougher, if that’s possible. That’s all we have to worry about, by the way.

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