WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Exercise Program (NEP) will conduct National Level Exercise 2-08 (NLE 2-08) a combined functional and full scale exercise from May 1 through May 8. NLE 2-08 will merge the objectives of U.S. Northern Command's (NORTHCOM) Ardent Sentry 2008 exercise, FEMA National Continuity Program's (NCP) Eagle Horizon 2008 exercise (formerly known as Forward Challenge), and FEMA Disaster Operation's Hurricane Preparedness Exercise (HPE).
The purpose of NLE 2-08 is to exercise national capabilities to prepare and respond to multiple incidents including both natural disasters and terrorist incidents. The exercise was designed to include scenario elements addressing hurricane preparedness and response, national continuity capabilities, and Defense Support to Civil Authorities coordination in response to weapons of mass destruction terrorist attacks. The exercise venues involve a Category 4 hurricane impacting the Mid Atlantic Coast and the National Capitol Region and multiple terrorist attacks in Washington State.
Also during NLE 2-08, the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) will test it's response to an accidental chemical agent release at the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon. Canada will also participate through their Staunch Maple Exercise.
The exercise allows Federal officials to implement continuity plans, test communications connectivity, operations and procedures for performing essential government functions from alternate locations, and interagency coordination. Additionally, it serves to demonstrate that essential functions can be effectively conducted during threats and emergencies.
NLE 2-08 is a NEP exercise conducted within the five year exercise schedule. The NEP is the nation's overarching homeland security exercise program, provides the federal government with a national, interagency wide program and a multi-year planning system to focus, coordinate, plan, conduct, execute, evaluate and prioritize national security and homeland security preparedness-related exercise activities.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.