Fort Jackson, SC (Diana Nation) - Lexington County veterans and residents who work, shop and have other reasons to be on Fort Jackson will find getting on and off post rather difficult next Thursday. Fort Jackson will be holding a joint training operation September 26 that will cause the gates to close sometime between 8-10 a.m. Although Thursdays are typically graduation day for basic training recruits, there is no graduation scheduled on the 26th on the main activities calendar for the post. The purpose of the drill is to provide a training opportunity and improve preparedness in the event of an actual emergency.
Post officials and various community activities are testing their ability to respond to multiple simulated incidents with a comprehensive exercise, which will encompass security elements and emergency services from Fort Jackson and the local community. Simulated casualties will be transported by emergency vehicles to several area hospitals as part of the exercise. The exercise will assess the post's response measures to multiple all-hazard situations and validate the crisis management plans and procedures for mitigating them. Fort Jackson soldiers, employees and visitors can expect longer than usual wait times to enter post and there could be traffic snarls near the installation's entrance gates. There will also be increased activity of emergency vehicles to and from post as the installation holds a force protection exercise involving numerous simulated casualties. "Gates will be closed during the exercise so we want the public to know a head of time to plan their trips to Fort Jackson for another day," said Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle, Jr. "We are working with Moncrief Army Health Clinic to have appointments rescheduled for another day." Military ID holders who normally come on post to shop at the commissary and The Exchange should choose another day as well. "We are trying to ensure the public is not frustrated waiting either to get on or off post on this day," said Beagle. "Patrons should expect delays."