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A MAJOR exercise has been conducted at Central Railway Station overnight to test the co-ordination and response arrangements to a terrorist or high-risk incident.
Exercise Pantograph was a Active Armed Offender training program involving more than 160 personnel from the NSW Police Force, Transport for NSW, Fire & Rescue NSW and Ambulance NSW.
Commander of the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, said the exercise scenario was designed to engage stakeholders responding to a sudden and major disruption to the rail network caused by an Active Armed Offender incident.
Active Armed Offender Training Exercise conducted at Sydney's Central Station. Picture: Supplied
A pretend terrorist holds a woman hostage on a train. Picture: Supplied“These types of exercises not only give police and partner agencies the critical training required in these types of situations, but also enhances the tactical skills in order to protect the community in environments where contain-and-negotiate tactics aren’t appropriate,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.
“Recent incidents such as the attack on London Bridge and the Borough Market, and the attacks at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, have shown us that armed terrorists, can strike anywhere at any time.
“As first responders, we have to be able to deal with situations with strength and surety.
Anti-terror cops at Sydney's Central Station. Picture: Supplied
Police officers arrest a ‘terrorist’ on train. Picture: Supplied
London...Armed police officers patrol streets after the June attack
Paris... The Bataclan concert hall which came under attack in 2015.“The Active Armed Offender program has been designed specifically to equip officers with the additional skills, training and resources they need when first on the scene at a terrorism or high-risk incident,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.
The scenario for Exercise Pantograph was based around two active armed offenders entering Central Railway Station, attacking commuters and examined how police respond and engage with force.
“Whilst I can’t go into the exact methodology, it’s fair to say this type of training is more dynamic and fluid than regular Police firearms training,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.
Office with plastic gun. Picture: Supplied
Officer takes aim. Picture: Supplied
Police officers sweep station platform during the exercise. Picture: SuppliedAssistant Commissioner Murdoch said the Active Armed Offender exercise was not the result of any threat, but rather a vital component of the ongoing training program.
Exercise Pantograph was an Australia New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee funded exercise.
Assistant Commissioner Murdoch thanked customers for their patience during the exercise.
“We want to express our appreciation to Central Railway Station customers, who might have been inconvenienced, for their patience, as well as Sydney Trains customer service staff for assisting customers during the exercise,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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