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U.S. Department of Homeland Security  

The TOPOFF 3 Full-Scale Exercise

Most Realistic Test Yet

The TOPOFF Full Scale Exercise (T3 FSE) will take place from April 4-8, 2005, and involve more than 10,000 participants representing more than 200 Federal, State, local, tribal, private sector, and international agencies and organizations and volunteer groups.  The FSE offers agencies and jurisdictions a way to exercise a coordinated national and international response to a large-scale, multipoint terrorist attack. It allows participants to test plans and skills in a real-time, realistic environment and gain the in-depth knowledge that only experience can provide.  

TOPOFF 3 In Brief:

  • Full-scale exercise:  April 2005.
  • Five venues:  Interagency, Connecticut, New Jersey, United Kingdom, Canada.
  • New Jersey scenario:  Simulated biological attack in Union and Middlesex Counties.
  • Connecticut scenario:  Simulated chemical attack in New London.

Exercise Scenario

The TOPOFF 3 scenario will depict a complex terrorist campaign and drive the exercise play through the homeland security system, beginning in Connecticut and New Jersey, and leading to national and international response.  

Over the course of several days fire personnel will conduct search and rescue, hospitals will treat the injured (played by role players), subject-matter experts will analyze the effects of the attack on public health, and top officials will deploy resources and make the difficult decisions needed to save lives.  

An internal Virtual News Network (VNN) and news website will provide real-time reporting of the story like an actual TV network would. The mock media will keep players up-to-date on unfolding events and enable decision makers to face the challenge of dealing with the real world media. Only participating agencies can view the VNN broadcast.