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As part of an emergency-response exercise, Fort McCoy will lock down the installation from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, March 21.

During the response exercise, Fort McCoy will evaluate its ability to respond to an active shooter incident for its annual Vigilant Triad exercise.

The response exercise, coordinated by Fort McCoy’s Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, will include in the scenario an installation lockdown for two hours when all public-access gates will be closed.

Visitors to the installation should plan accordingly if they have plans to come to the installation between those hours.

The active shooter response scenario will focus on areas in and around Building 50 on the cantonment area − the fenced “downtown” area of the installation. Response scenarios also will be conducted across the installation, including public-access gates, to test Fort McCoy’s capabilities and allow evaluators to critique performance.

During the course of the response exercise, Fort McCoy personnel and residents can expect changes to traffic patterns, closed roads and other delays in and around the cantonment area in addition to the lockdown and gate closures.

“We are sharing detailed information about the exercise because we want to ensure community members inside and outside the gate do not confuse this response event with a real-life emergency,” said Fort McCoy spokeswoman Tonya Townsell. “So, be aware that when March 21 rolls around, yes, Fort McCoy will be conducting a response exercise with an active shooter response scenario; yes, activity will happen around the public gates; and, yes, the installation will lock down with little to no movement on the installation.”

Townsell added that “this is very good news. We regularly exercise our emergency responses to natural and man-made incidents. These response drills are a part of a continuing effort by the Department of Defense to refine and improve emergency response.”

One other venue that will be exercised is social media, although only internally for the response exercise.

“In the event of a real emergency, Fort McCoy will provide updated information through social media,” she said, adding that “our official social media sites are a good place to visit to help dispel rumors. However, to stop people from confusing the response exercise with a real-life emergency, we don’t plan to post exercise-specific emergency messaging to social media during the Vigilant Triad exercise.”

Fort McCoy social media sites are and

Organizations, personnel, and residents may also receive exercise emails and AtHOC mass notification alerts concerning the response exercise and status of installation activities.


Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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