On September 21, in the territory of Zemgale Olympic Center in Jelgava, counterterrorism exercise "Mītava 2023" organized by Latvian State Security Service (VDD) was held, in which representatives of operational services and other institutions tested their readiness to act in the event of a terrorist attack.
Already for several years VDD pays particular attention to testing and improving the response and cooperation capabilities of regional structural units of operational services in the event of terrorism threats. This time Jelgava was selected as the exercise venue.
In accordance with the training scenario developed by VDD, the responsible services tested their readiness to take the necessary measures in the event of several terrorist attacks at the end of a public event. The scenario foresaw terrorists attacking the event attendees with firearms and cold weapons, as they were leaving the venue, and ramming the crowd with a car, resulting in dozens of casualties. Such training scenario was developed taking into account the current terrorist threat tendencies in Europe.
In the exercises, the services simulated rescue operations, providing emergency medical aid, arresting terrorists and preventing the threat they pose, as well as measures to eliminate the consequences of attacks and investigative activities in the event of a terrorist attack. A particularly important element in the exercise was the cooperation between the involved services and the coordination of actions at the scene in order to minimize the consequences of terrorist attacks as much as possible.
About 250 participants from various institutions involved in counterterrorism measures took part in the training: VDD, State Police, Emergency Medical Service, State Fire and Rescue Service, General Prosecutor's Office, Zemgale Judicial District Prosecutor's Office, Jelgava Municipal Police, State Border Guard and National Armed Forces.
In order to advance the success of the counterterrorism exercise, VDD organized an informative seminar and theoretical or so-called table-top training for the representatives of the structural units of the operational services in the Zemgale region last week. At the informative seminar held on September 14, the counterterrorism experts of VDD reminded the representatives of the operational services about the measures to be taken in the event of a terrorist attack, and also introduced the seminar participants with the current trends in terrorist threats in Europe. Whereas on September 15, the representatives of the structural units of the operational services in the Zemgale region had the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge within the framework of table-top exercises organized by VDD, by planning and mutually coordinating the actions to be taken in the event of a terrorist attack during a public event.
Together with the informative seminar and table-top training organized in Zemgale, VDD concluded the regional counterterrorism theoretical training cycle organized in the recent years. Over the course of three years, VDD has also organized such seminars and table-top training for representatives of the operational services of the Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale regions.
VDD has been organizing full-scale counterterrorism exercises since 2007, and this was the 12th exercise of this scale.
VDD is the institution responsible for the field of counterterrorism in Latvia, which coordinates the activities of state and local government institutions, as well as other institutions involved in counterterrorism prevention or response measures in the field of counterterrorism.
Insight in the course of the counterterrorism exercise:
Information prepared by: VDD