Marines, police prep for mock zombie invasion - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Marines, police prep for mock zombie invasion

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Move over vampires, goblins and haunted houses, this kind of Halloween terror aims to shake up even the toughest warriors: An untold number of so-called zombies are coming to a counterterrorism summit attended by hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others to prepare them for their worst nightmares.

"This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume party," said Brad Barker, president of Halo Corp, a security firm hosting the Oct. 31 training demonstration during the summit at a 44-acre Paradise Point Resort island on a San Diego bay. "Everything that will be simulated at this event has already happened, it just hasn't happened all at once on the same night. But the training is very real, it just happens to be the bad guys we're having a little fun with."

Hundreds of military, law enforcement and medical personnel will observe the Hollywood-style production of a zombie attack as part of their emergency response training.

In the scenario, a VIP and his personal detail are trapped in a village, surrounded by zombies when a bomb explodes. The VIP is wounded and his team must move through the town while dodging bullets and shooting back at the invading zombies. At one point, some members of the team are bit by zombies and must be taken to a field medical facility for decontamination and treatment.

"No one knows what the zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do," Barker said. "If a law enforcement officer sees a zombie and says, 'Freeze, get your hands in the air!' What's the zombie going to do? He's going to moan at you. If someone on PCP or some other psychotic drug is told that, the truth is he's not going to react to you."

The keynote speaker beforehand will be a retired top spook - former CIA Director Michael Hayden.

"No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it's going to be a federal incident, so we're making it happen," Barker said. Since word got out about the exercise, they've had calls from "every whack job in the world" about whether the U.S. government is really preparing for a zombie event.

Called "Zombie Apocalypse," the exercise follows the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's campaign launched last year that urged Americans to get ready for a zombie apocalypse, as part of a catchy, public health message about the importance of emergency preparedness.

The Homeland Security Department jumped on board last month, telling citizens if they're prepared for a zombie attack, they'll be ready for real-life disasters like a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack. A few suggestions were similar to a few of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie "Zombieland," which included "always carry a change of underwear" and "when in doubt, know your way out."

San Diego-based Halo Corp. founded by former military special ops and intelligence personnel has been hosting the annual counterterrorism summit since 2006.

The five-day Halo counterterrorism summit is an approved training event by the Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which provide funds to pay for the coursework on everything from the battleground tactics to combat wounds to cybersecurity. The summit has a $1,000 registration fee and runs Oct. 29-Nov 2.

Conferences attended by government officials have come under heightened scrutiny following an inspector general's report on waste and abuse at a lavish 2010 Las Vegas conference that led to the resignation of General Services Administrator Martha Johnson. The Las Vegas conference featured a clown, a mind-reader and a rap video by an employee who made fun of the spending.

Joe Newman, spokesman of the watchdog organization Project on Government Oversight, said he does not see the zombie exercise as frivolous.

"We obviously are concerned about any expenditure that might seem frivolous or a waste of money but if they tie things together, there is a lesson there," Newman said. "Obviously we're not expecting a zombie apocalypse in the near future, but the effects of what might happen in a zombie apocalypse are probably similar to the type of things that happen in natural disasters and manmade disasters. They're just having fun with it. We don't have any problems with it as a teaching point."

Defense analyst Loren Thompson agreed.

"The defining characteristics of zombies are that they're unpredictable and resilient. That may be a good way to prepare for what the Pentagon calls asymmetric warfare," Thompson said.

Organizers can also avoid the pitfalls of using a mock enemy who cannot be identified by nationality, race or culture, potentially offending someone.

"I can think of a couple of countries where the local leaders are somewhat zombie-like," he joked. "But nobody is going to take this personally."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Autopsy results for BGSU grad found in landfill could take weeks

    Autopsy results for BGSU grad found in landfill could take weeks

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:13:56 GMT
    It could be weeks until we know how a BGSU graduate died in Cleveland. Friends say they last saw 22-year-old Cory Barron at a concert at Progressive Field over the weekend. Police found his body in a landfill Tuesday. Investigators say Barron may have crawled or fallen into a trash chute in the stadium. The Lorain County coroner's office is performing an autopsy, but officials say the results will take about three weeks. Family and friends will remember Barron Thursday night with a candl...
    It could be weeks until we know how a BGSU graduate died in Cleveland. Friends say they last saw 22-year-old Cory Barron at a concert at Progressive Field over the weekend. Police found his body in a landfill Tuesday. Investigators say Barron may have crawled or fallen into a trash chute in the stadium. The Lorain County coroner's office is performing an autopsy, but officials say the results will take about three weeks. Family and friends will remember Barron Thursday night with a candl...
  • Best Buy hiring for several positions

    Best Buy hiring for several positions

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:39 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:39:12 GMT
    Three area Best Buy locations are currently looking to fill several different positions. The stores that are hiring are the location at Monroe and Secor in Toledo, the store on Spring Meadows Drive in Holland and the store on Fremont Pike in Perrysburg. Between all three stores, the company is looking to hire about 30 people or more. It is hiring full time, part time and seasonal employees. To apply, visit bestbuy-jobs.com.
    Three area Best Buy locations are currently looking to fill several different positions. The stores that are hiring are the location at Monroe and Secor in Toledo, the store on Spring Meadows Drive in Holland and the store on Fremont Pike in Perrysburg. Between all three stores, the company is looking to hire about 30 people or more. It is hiring full time, part time and seasonal employees. To apply, visit bestbuy-jobs.com.
  • Chinese lantern may have sparked N. Baltimore plastics plant blaze

    Chinese lantern may have sparked N. Baltimore plastics plant blaze

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:06:08 GMT
    Large stacks of plastic pallets in the yard of HPJ Industries on West Boundary Street started burning last Thursday around 11 p.m. sending massive flames more than 100 feet into the air for hours. 
    Large stacks of plastic pallets in the yard of HPJ Industries on West Boundary Street started burning last Thursday around 11 p.m. sending massive flames more than 100 feet into the air for hours. 

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Autopsy results for BGSU grad found in landfill could take weeks

    Autopsy results for BGSU grad found in landfill could take weeks

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:13:56 GMT
    It could be weeks until we know how a BGSU graduate died in Cleveland. Friends say they last saw 22-year-old Cory Barron at a concert at Progressive Field over the weekend. Police found his body in a landfill Tuesday. Investigators say Barron may have crawled or fallen into a trash chute in the stadium. The Lorain County coroner's office is performing an autopsy, but officials say the results will take about three weeks. Family and friends will remember Barron Thursday night with a candl...
    It could be weeks until we know how a BGSU graduate died in Cleveland. Friends say they last saw 22-year-old Cory Barron at a concert at Progressive Field over the weekend. Police found his body in a landfill Tuesday. Investigators say Barron may have crawled or fallen into a trash chute in the stadium. The Lorain County coroner's office is performing an autopsy, but officials say the results will take about three weeks. Family and friends will remember Barron Thursday night with a candl...
  • Chinese lantern may have sparked N. Baltimore plastics plant blaze

    Chinese lantern may have sparked N. Baltimore plastics plant blaze

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:06:08 GMT
    Large stacks of plastic pallets in the yard of HPJ Industries on West Boundary Street started burning last Thursday around 11 p.m. sending massive flames more than 100 feet into the air for hours. 
    Large stacks of plastic pallets in the yard of HPJ Industries on West Boundary Street started burning last Thursday around 11 p.m. sending massive flames more than 100 feet into the air for hours. 

  • Cystic fibrosis drug being tested at Toledo Hospital

    Cystic fibrosis drug being tested at Toledo Hospital

     

    It's being called the greatest advance in the treatment of the fatal lung disease cystic fibrosis. 13abc's Melissa Voetsch has more on the future of a drug being tested at Toledo Hospital.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!