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DHS and TOPOFF 4 Hold National Preparedness Exercise

Top Officials 4 (TOPOFF 4) is the Nation’s premier terrorism preparedness exercise, involving top officials at every level of government, as well as representatives from the international community and private sector. Taking place October 15-19, 2007, the TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise (T4 FSE) will feature thousands of federal, state, territorial, and local officials. These officials will engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat.

The exercise will address policy and strategic issues that mobilize prevention and response systems, require participants to make difficult decisions, carry out essential functions, and challenge their ability to maintain a common operating picture during an incident of national significance.

New Challenges in TOPOFF 4
The TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise builds on knowledge derived from earlier TOPOFF exercises and recent real world events, and contains several new elements:

  • Increased coordination with U.S. Department of Defense exercises to combat global terrorism
  • Expanded emphasis on prevention — the opportunity to piece together an intelligence “puzzle” and stop an attack before it occurs
  • Focus on mass decontamination and large-scale recovery and remediation issues
  • Focus on coordinating procedures and communications with a U.S. territory

Challenging the Entire Homeland Security System
Exercises such as TOPOFF are an important component of national preparedness, helping to build an integrated Federal, State, territorial, local, and private sector capability to prevent terrorist attacks, and rapidly and effectively respond to, and recover from, any terrorist attack or major disaster that does occur. The full-scale exercise offers agencies and jurisdictions a way to test their plans and skills in a real-time, realistic environment and to gain the in-depth knowledge that only experience can provide. Participants will also exercise prevention and intelligence gathering functions, which are critical to preventing terrorist attacks. Lessons learned from the exercise will provide valuable insights to guide future planning for securing the Nation against terrorist attacks, disasters, and other emergencies.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Web site at