PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - It was a hostage situation at Camp Beauregard Thursday. Fortunately, no one was hurt - because these people were actors, simulating an active shooter scenario.
The scene is set with three casualties, needing immediate medical attention - and the shooter barricaded inside, holding his "wife" at gunpoint.
"Every commander has to have a plan, so it gives him an opportunity to develop a plan, put it on paper exercise the plan, make sure it works," said Command Sergeant Major Rufus Jones. "If it doesn't work they can go back in, readjust the plan to make it work."
The exercise brought together several agencies: the Louisiana National Guard, Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office, U.S. Marshals, FBI, Acadian Ambulance, and Pineville police.
"So it gives us a cooperative sharing of ideas, equipment, so we know what's available to us," said Lt. Darrell Basco of Pineville P.D. "And when I say resources, not just equipment, but personnel. So they know what personnel we have, we know what personnel they have, what our capabilities are and what their capabilities are."
In the end, responders stormed the building, and ended the "standoff" - making the exercise a success for more reasons than one.
"We responded to an active shooter with a hostage situation," said Lt. Col. Joseph Brocato, commander of Camp Beauregard. "Everybody was in position, and they moved out professionally and executed the mission without flaw."
That's when training is most valuable," said Lt. Basco. "Learning from those missteps. Enforcing what we do good and what we do right is the best part of it."
These exercises take two to three months to plan, and they do them once a year.