LANDOVER, Md. – The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Washington Commanders, FedExField, and state and local first responders held a tabletop exercise this week to test response plans around hypothetical public safety incidents during a Washington Commanders game.
The Washington Commanders Tabletop Exercise, the latest in a series of assessments and exercises designed to ensure the safety of events at FedExField, brought together private sector partners and federal, state, and local first responders to discuss pre-incident and incident information-sharing procedures and emergency response and recovery operations following hypothetical events that present security and safety risks to fans, athletes, and employees. This exercise took place over a four-hour period and focused on pre-incident information sharing, incident response, and immediate recovery.
“Simulated events and joint exercises with trusted partners are important components of emergency preparedness,” said CISA Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security David Mussington. “If a real-world emergency happens, no single agency is going to respond alone. Now more than ever, we need strong, trusted, reliable relationships with partners who know how to communicate and work together effectively.”
“The safety and security of fans, employees, and players is our utmost priority during all major events hosted throughout the year at FedExField,” said Trista Langdon, Senior Vice President, Operations and Guest Experience for the Washington Commanders. “Tabletop exercises, in partnership with CISA, are crucial in reinforcing our preparedness for safety incidents and updating our approaches to response and recovery plans in a rapidly evolving environment. We greatly appreciate the time and commitment of CISA, as well as other federal, state and local partners, devoted to keeping everyone safe at FedExField.”
Participants discussed their roles, shared best practices, and improved coordination mechanisms to help keep the public safe during football games. This exercise was part of an ongoing partnership between those involved and was not in response to any specific threat.
The public has a critical role to play in security during any mass gathering event. CISA encourages anyone attending events to follow the guidance of their state and local health officials and remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to personnel or law enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security’s See Something, Say Something® campaign has more information on reporting suspicious behavior.
“This exercise was just one of the many examples of the planning and coordination that takes place long before game days to keep fans and athletes safe,” said CISA Regional Director Bill Ryan. “Our staff is on the ground every day, working with our partners throughout the region. We look forward to continuing our work to ensure all major events are safe and secure for fans, participants, and events staff.”
CISA works with sports leagues, teams, stadiums and arenas, and other large venues around the country to develop and exercise response plans for all potential threats in today’s environment. CISA plans and conducts over 150 exercises each year across the nation, and the agency has staff strategically located throughout the United States to advise businesses, schools, and other organizations of all sizes on ways to enhance their security and resilience. Resources and tools are available on the agency’s website through its Hometown Security initiative.
As the nation’s cyber defense agency and national coordinator for critical infrastructure security, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency leads the national effort to understand, manage, and reduce risk to the digital and physical infrastructure Americans rely on every hour of every day.
Post Image- FedEx Field in Maryland (Image Credit: Adobe Stock by dima)