The U.S. National Exercise Program

Nearly every month, assets of the U.S. Government participate in one or more exercises intended to bolster, one way or another, homeland security. Because these things are run by the government, and typically involve half a gajillion different agencies, they’re planned far in advance – typically five or six years out. The whole master scheme of who’s doing what, when, and where is known as the “National Exercise Program”. In addition to training and preparedness exercises that most of us never hear a whole lot about, the NEP includes some high-profile events that most Americans are probably familiar with – Presidential inaugurations, the State of the Union address, and other National Security Special Events like the football Super Bowl.

Every once in a while, some kind soul (accidentally?) puts a calendar of these things online, allowing ‘We Teh Ppl” to more easily keep track of what’s going on.

A document recently published on a government website contains a pretty current list of upcoming National Exercise Program events for the next five years – events like Diablo Bravo, Vigilant Shield, Positive Response, and NUWAIX, among (many) others. (The latter are probably a favorite of conspiracy theorists, as – though it’s rarely mentioned in ‘official mention’ of such events, they involve (simulated) nuclear mishaps – NUWAIX is an acronym for NUclear WArhead Incident eXercise.)

Generally, everyone likes to pretend that these events go very well indeed, but who really knows the truth? The after-action reports are pretty much never published, and there’s scant open discussion regarding “lessons learned” and so on. Hopefully, with better public awareness of these many and varied events, people can make use of the FOIA to get the various reports and summaries from these events, and get a better idea about just how well Uncle Sam’s training efforts are really paying off…

The charts of upcoming events, along with some details about the organization and purpose of the NEP, can be downloaded right here (1MB PDF).

Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on September 14th, 2009| 2 Comments »

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2 Comments

  1. On 9/16/2009 at 9:30 am Cranky Old Man Said:

    The link for the NEP does not seem to work. At least not for firefox.

  2. On 9/16/2009 at 11:55 am Nemo Said:

    Sorry about that… fixed now.